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By Henry Kannberg. 2013-4 (Common Era) or! a"ternati#e"y 02013-02014 (in t$e %ong &o' (oun)ation*s numbering system)
I spent New Year's Eve 1999 in Tokyo. If only for arbitrary calendrical reasons, it felt like a remarkable inflection point and a crossroads – t e passa!e from one millenni"m to anot er. No calendar moment in t e rest of my life will be #"ite so a"!"st. $t t e time I was e%tremely fort"nate and privile!ed to be st"dyin! &apanese on a one year sc olars ip at 'aiic i (ei)ai *niversity, +"k"oka, and was l"cky to ave fo"nd my way to t e capital ,via slow trains rat er t an s inkansen, to save my limited stock of yen-. It was an absol"tely e% ilaratin! ni! t, from massed crowds in . in/"k" at midni! t to bars in 0oppon!i to a . into temple at si% in t e mornin! somew ere t at I cannot remember beca"se by t at point t e potions and eli%irs in t e 0oppon!i bars ad removed w at remained of my inner 12.. I ret"rned ome to t e *( in .eptember 3444 avin! been treated wit t e most ama)in! ospitality, !enerosity, co"rtesy, respect and politeness everyw ere I ad visited in a tr"ly bea"tif"l co"ntry and a place t at I will feel warm and !ratef"l towards for t e rest of my life. I remember t at ni! t and t at year wit not in! b"t fondness and appiness. 5earnin! t e lan!"a!e and c"lt"re of &apan, at least to some limited e%tent ,I am no 5afcadio 6earn-, ta"! t me deep lessons t at will stay wit me for !ood. T e c allen!e of attemptin! to absorb t e 3,444 kan/i c aracters t at are prescribed for everyday literacy, in and of itself, was a ma!nificently stim"latin! and mind7e%pandin! one. $ccordin! to t e idea of ne"roplasticity1 and t e advances t at are bein! made in t is e%citin! era of ne"roscience, attemptin! to !et my ead aro"nd t e labyrint s of t e writin! system may per aps ave even rewired my brain to some e%tent3. It certainly fra))led it, w et er or not it rewired it. 8 atever t e advances in medicine d"rin! t e co"rse of my life, I do not e%pect to still be alive on New Year's Eve 3499. I may or may not witness t e moment in istory w ere t e ten billiont "man bein! is born. If by some miracle I were to reac t e a!e of 131, I am not s"re t at I wo"ld #"ite ave t e ener!y to en/oy t e festivities in t e 'Eastern 9apital', let alone somew ere more #"iet: and per aps less smart. 8 at I do e%pect is t at in my absence t e world will be a
1 3 +or e%ample, as disc"ssed by Norman 'oid!e, ;T e <rain T at 9 an!es Itself= .tories of 2ersonal Tri"mp from t e +rontiers of <rain .cience> ,344?'espite workin! e%tremely ard at t e lan!"a!e, I am still "nfort"nately able to only read t e most basic stories in &apanese b"t ope t at t e process involved leads to !reater brain connectivity, as fo"nd for e%ample in t e e%periment in 341: by t e Emory *niversity's 9entre for Ne"ropolicy in $tlanta. I am not #"ite s"re if my brain as become w at 1ary .mall and 1i!i @oran mi! t call an 'i<rain' yet ,3449- and I am not s"re I ave "nder!one eno"! random fl"ct"ations to form a <olt)mann brain. I am also only /"st be!innin! to learn ow to play t e !ame Eye8ire from t e .e"n! Ne"roscience lab at AIT w ic is "sin! !amification to elp map t e brain. I am not personally s"re of w et er I am introverted, e%troverted or an ambivert f"sion of t e two, b"t if I did reac 131 years old in some ypot etical sit"ation I wo"ld probably be content to sit #"ietly in a retirement ome readin! ."sain 9ain, ;B"iet= T e 2ower of Introverts in a 8orld T at 9an't .top Talkin!> ,3413- rat er t an listenin! to w atever t e e#"ivalent of d"bstep or dr"m 'n' bass is in 3499 in a crowded cl"b on t e eve of t e new


vastly different place by t at point in time, and radically different from t e world t at I was born into in 19C?. In my own lifetime I ave become conscio"s of certain trends and tra/ectories t at will define t e back!ro"nd of t e twenty first cent"ry and o"r collective s"ccesses and ac ievements wit in t at back!ro"nd. 8e ave ma/or problems to solve b"t also enormo"s opport"nities to !rasp. In .eptember 1999, w en I ad /"st finis ed my st"dies at D%ford *niversity and was preparin! to !o to &apan, I was not conscio"s of several of t ese. In partic"lar, I ad very little awareness of t e scale of world pop"lation and t e #"estion of t e relations ip between o"r needs and wants on t e one and and stocks of p ysical reso"rces on t e ot er. In some ways I ad a kind of latent or defa"lt corn"copianism w ic as been severely c allen!ed by t e readin! I ave done so far in t e s"cceedin! decade and a alf. 'iscoverin! t at I was merely one person amon!st si% billion, and t en seven billion, as been at times a rat er soberin! prospect – in t e same way t at previo"s !enerations absorbin!, say, 9opernicanism wo"ld ave no do"bt fo"nd it rat er soberin! to discover a certain co!nitive or percept"al decenterin! of t eir position in t e cosmosE. &o n 'onne ad it t at no man is an island. Today, we are more interconnected t an ever via o"r new tec nolo!ies, and interconnected into a world pop"lation t at is different in ma!nit"de from t e entire istory of mankind "p to 1?4E w en we passed t e billion milestone. T ere are limits to corn"copiansmF, b"t also a place for it G. D"r era is dominated by two diver!ent tra/ectories= on t e one and, !reat ab"ndance and, indeed, yper7ab"ndance, partic"larly of information, ideas, comm"nication, e%c an!es, and "man bein!sH and yet on t e ot er and problems of !reat scarcity – or even certain conditions of yper7scarcity. T is diver!ence, in some ways, can lead to a rat er sc i)oid conscio"sness C, a co!nitive dissonance in o"r disco"rses and a
E cent"ry. Dne does not, of co"rse, need to react to 9opernicanism or similar intellect"al or co!nitive s ifts in conscio"sness of scale and perspective in a way t at is ne!ative ,anot er e%ample bein! 8illiam $nders's 'Eart rise' p oto!rap taken in 19G? d"rin! t e $pollo mission t at elped "s to conceive of o"r reality in cosmic terms – a pictorial representation t at was t en e%tended in t e 2ale <l"e 'ot ima!e of 1994 taken by t e @oya!er 1 spaceprobe or t e Aars 9"riosity 0over ima!e of o"r planet from Aars, 99 million miles away, in 341E-. $n e%ample is t e advice of Neil de 1rasse Tyson, w o, at <i! T ink, "r!ed "s to sim"ltaneo"sly be aware of scale – wit Eart bein!, as e points o"t, tiny in relative terms, as is t e s"n, w ic is ;kind of avera!e and t ere's a "ndred billion ot er stars in a !ala%y. $nd o"r !ala%y, t e Ailky 8ay, is one of F4 or 144 billion ot er !ala%ies in t e "niverse>. Nonet eless, e e% orts "s to be reass"red by t e fact t at even t o"! we may be small, we are an intrinsic and inte!ral part of a lar!er interconnected w ole. In a sense, t e entire tra/ectory of o"r increased scientific knowled!e over millennia as ens"red t at we ave become more and more conscio"s of o"r relative smallness wit in t e "niverse. T is does not ave to mean by necessity t at we ass"me t at o"r microcosmic section of t e macrocosm is some ow any less important, owever. If we are at some sta!e to meet intelli!ent life elsew ere in t e "niverse, owever, it mi! t be "sef"l for "s to learn "mility from o"r own e%periences of meetin!s between different "man c"lt"res s"c as t e 'discovery' of t e 'New 8orld' ,or t e meetin! between two rat er old worlds- of 1E93. 8e may at some sta!e need all t e ambassadorial skills t at we can m"ster. .ee, for instance, t e work on entropy by Nic olas 1eor!esc"70oe!en as well as t e 9l"b of 0ome, Limits to Growth, 19C3 and t e <r"ndtland 0eport 19?C, Our Common Future. 5imits are implicit in t e concept of 'planetary bo"ndaries' created by &o an 0ockstrom of t e .tock olm 0esilience 9entre wit t e view, e%pressed in 3449, t at we ave !one past limits in two or t ree bo"ndary areas ,!reen o"se !as loadin! of t e atmosp ereH nitro!en poll"tion and t e loss of biodiversity-. . Aic ael 5ee, ;(nowin! o"r f"t"re= T e startlin! case for f"t"rolo!y> ,3413 , p.1:- points o"t t at an early prediction of t e finite limitations of coal s"pply was made in &evons, ;T e 9oal B"estion> ,1?GF-. Dn t e ot er side of t e e#"ation, t ere are views of corn"copianism t at are tr"ly breat takin! in scope= for instance +reeman 'yson, ;'ist"rbin! t e *niverse> ,19C9- w o posits a view of t e "niverse w ic may be ;!rowin! wit o"t limit in ric ness and comple%ity' wit 'life s"rvivin! forever' – a rat er similar view in some senses to ("rt 1odel's idea of t e ine% a"stible world of p"re mat ematics, as noted in 'avid 2itt and 2a"l .amson, ;T e <iosp ere and Noosp ere 0eader> ,344:, p.C-. 6ere t e #"estion of ab"ndance and scarcity operates in a far lar!er conte%t= alt o"! reso"rces on o"r planet may be finite, we may be part of a "niverse t at is, as 'yson mi! t p"t it, infinite in all directions – wit conse#"ences t at we ave barely be!"n to "nderstand as a "man species. 6avin! only /"st !ot "sed to t e era of t e )ettabyte, one can only /"st be!in to ima!ine w at t e era of t e yottabyte, ellabyte or dome!eme!rottebyte wo"ld be like. Dne wonders if 9 arles 'ickens, transported to o"r day via some sort of time travel device, wo"ld see it as t e best or worst of all possible worlds, or rat er a world e%istin! in some #"ant"m state between t e two. $ dinner



kind of collective 5ain!ian divided self. A"c of t e former is to be celebrated and embraced and can lead to enormo"s optimism abo"t t e present and abo"t t e f"t"re ?. T e latter, owever, provides problems and c allen!es t at are enormo"s in scale and scope and can lead to an in!rained pessimism abo"t t e f"t"re. In &"n!ian terms, m"c of o"r sense of pro!ress and advancement contains a kind of s adow side of profo"nd fears over t e s"stainability and lon!evity of o"r social systems and civilisations9. In many ways t e story of o"r s"ccesses and fail"res in t is cent"ry will be determined by t e way in w ic we ne!otiate t e c allen!es provided by t e diver!ences between yper7 ab"ndance14 and yper7scarcity. In partic"lar, we are tasked wit t e process of arnessin! t e power of e%ponential !rowt to stim"late positive developments and, on t e ot er side of t e e#"ation, workin! o"t ways in w ic we can brin! stability to ne!ative or problematic e%ponentials or s arp rises s"c as t e (eelin! c"rve of carbon dio%ide b"ild "p in t e atmosp ere. D"r task, t erefore, is to ne!otiate and miti!ate certain forms of diminis in! ret"rns, and in ot er areas take t e beneftis and advanta!es of acceleratin! ret"rns and economies of scale. D"r !reatest e%ponential of all is t e rise of distrib"tion of and access to information= as I e%plored in my previo"s work, ;6yper 5iteracy in t e E%ponential Epoc >, we live in a time of c an!e in terms of o"r access to and prod"ction of information and ideas t at is at least as profo"nd and far7reac in! as t e 1"tenber!ian printin! revol"tion, if not more so. 6yperte%t is simply not t e same t in! as te%t, in t e same way t at a non7linear system composed of comple% and c aotic feedback loops is not t e same t in! as a linear or se#"ential system11. It is still relatively yo"n! in istorical terms , avin! be!"n, ar!"ably, in Ted Nelson's 19G4 2ro/ect Ianad" 13-, and so its tr"e potential and ramifications are only be!innin! to play o"t at t is c"rrent moment in time. T e 1"tenber!ian printin! a!e saw a complete s ift in t e ability to make copies w ic fostered a readin! and writin! revol"tion. Today, t e non7rivalro"s and !enerally non7e%cl"sive nat"re of bits is allowin! a similar paradi!m s ift of epic proportions in t e capacity to make copies of doc"ments and ideas and so
party wit im, 5eibni) and @oltaire wo"ld lead to a not entirely "ninterestin! disco"rse on t e matter. &o n Aic ael 1reer, ;2ro!ress v. $pocalypse= T e .tories 8e Tell D"rselves> ,3413- ar!"es t at some of t e ma/or contemporary myt s of o"r time are divided between stories of lon!7term and ine%orable "man pro!ress on t e one and, w ic makes "s ar!"ably too optimistic abo"t t e f"t"re and not aware eno"! of limits and risks, and stories t at centre on collapse t at make "s too pessimistic. 1reer sees t e former as akin to a reli!io"s system, citin! 9 ristop er 5asc , ;T e Tr"e and Dnly 6eaven= 2ro!ress and Its 9ritics>. $n e%ample of a narrative of pro!ress over t e co"rse of istory is t e 8 i!!is ness described by 6erbert <"tterfield, ;T e 8 i! Interpretation of 6istory> ,19:1- or, alternatively, t e implicit belief in pro!ress t at lay at t e eart of t e Enli! tenment. It may be t e case t at t ere ave always been s"c polar e%tremes of narrative in all "man c"lt"res, b"t it is ar!"able t at o"r contemporary period – !iven t e revol"tionary nat"re of t e post71"tenber! s ift t at we are livin! wit in – is one w ere t ese diver!ences are writ partic"larly lar!e. ? $s well as yper7ab"ndance, t ere is of co"rse a yper7ab"ndance of ways to pict"re it= one estimate by 9isco, for e%ample, s"!!ested t at by 341C it wo"ld take one person more t an five million years to watc every video t at is online or, alternatively, t at it wo"ld take over F years to watc t e amo"nt of video t at will cross !lobal networks every second in 341F. $ss"min! t at some ow astrona"ts ad access to t e internet, t ere wo"ld at least be plenty of entertainment for t e lon! trip to somew ere like $lp a 9enta"ri w ic , "sin! c"rrent tec nolo!y, mi! t take "p to 1GF,444 years , w ic is not far off t e total time t at "manity as so far e%isted – ttp=JJeart sky.or!JspaceJalp a7centa"ri7travel7time 9 6ere t e tendency to see t e best and worst of worlds at t e same time is embodied in Aar!aret $twood's concept of t e '"stopian', t e mi%t"re of t e "topian and dystopian. 14 .ometimes t e information e%plosion, for e%ample, is referred to as an 'e%aflood'. Dr per aps, ')ettaflood'. 11 It is to be noted t at researc into comple% dynamical systems, pioneered by people s"c as Edward 5oren) wit is investi!ations into weat er patterns in t e 19G4s, as crystallised into a new science in a relatively recent time frame, since t e late 19?4s wit t e work of people s"c as 'anis p ysicist 2er <ak and t e creation of or!anisations s"c as t e .anta +e Instit"te in t e *.$. 13 <elinda <arnet, ;Aemory Aac ines= T e Evol"tion of 6yperte%t> ,341: , p.G- cites Ted Nelson's 19GF definition of yperte%t as bein! ;a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in s"c a comple% way t at it co"ld not conveniently be presented or represented on paper>. In 19CE e also added t e concept of te%t t at is ;forms of writin! w ic branc or perform on re#"estH t ey are best presented on comp"ter display screens.> T is idea of branc in! ints at t e tree7like arc itect"res of yperte%t"al interconnectedness.

diff"se t em amon!st an ever wider demo!rap ic1:. If we accelerate yper7literacy ,or per aps w at 1re!ory *lmer mi! t call yper7electracyt en we raise all sorts of possibilities for pro!ressions, advancements, inventions, discoveries and transformations, t e scope of w ic are "tterly beyond t e traditional cate!ories and patterns of t o"! t t at ave dominated previo"s cent"ries. T at is a reason for profo"nd optimism, if not naKve pan!lossianism. In partic"lar, we face t e prospect of ever more rapid e%pansion of o"r knowled!e and "nderstandin! in a wide variety of frontiers, bot in terms of t e o"ter world ,o"ter space or !eot ermal wells1E or t e Eart 's oceans1F, for instance- and o"r inner worlds ,conscio"sness and t e ne"roscientific "nderstandin! of t e brain and t e mind, or t e world of dreams t at as been t e st"dy of all sorts of people since at least t e time of .i!m"nd +re"d-. In t at sense, t ose of "s alive today are livin! in a eady, stim"latin!, comple%, verti!ino"s and at times conf"sin! a!e of discovery1G. 1iven t e non7linear nat"re of c an!e, it is not easy to c art ow t ese vast advances and a!!re!ations in knowled!e will feed t ro"! into practical pro/ects and social or!anisation1C. T ey may also lead to all manner of vis"al representations, bot in terms of !rap s ,and info!rap ics- as well as in terms of mappin!, wit advances and paradi!m s ifts as si!nificant as t e work of 2tolemy or <"ckminster +"ller's 'yma%ion map in maps s"c as Aartin @ar!ic's map of t e internet. 8 atever occ"rs, owever, it is likely t at by 3144 we will face a radically different "man world, at least as transformed as E"rope was one "ndred years or so after 1"tenber!. 1iven t e pace of c an!es and t e velocity wit w ic new trends and tra/ectories emer!e, it may be t at we e%perience transformations so vast and far7reac in! on s"c a s ort time scale t at it will be e%tremely c allen!in! for istorians cent"ries or indeed millennia a ead of "s to "npick precisely w at was appenin!, and w at events were infl"encin! ot er events, all wit in a s ort frame of time. $cceleration at times seems to be t e very allmark of t e a!e in w ic we live. It certainly makes writin! abo"t t e present and t e f"t"re enormo"sly c allen!in!, since almost as soon as one as written a sentence it seems to be dated 1?. In 'avid 6o"le's terms, t e Information $!e as !iven way to a '. ift $!e' w ere acceleratin! c an!e is embedded into t e very fabric of t e #"otidian. $s in t e previo"s work, I will not make precise predictions, in lar!e part beca"se of t e
1: $s disc"ssed by 6arold $belson, (en 5edeen and 6arry 5ewis, ;<lown to <its> ,3413, p.G-. It may seem an obvio"s point, b"t it is one w ose ramifications are vast= printin! allowed for an e%pansion of copies of te%ts, b"t t ese were limited to t e p ysical n"mber in e%istence based on an economy of atoms. In t e economy of bits, t at te%t can be reprod"ced, essentially ad infinit"m, wit o"t a loss of #"ality ,as wit analo!"e entities- and is non7 rivalro"s in t e sense t at my cons"mption of t e te%t does not precl"de yo"r cons"mption of it. T e n"mber of copies of a certain te%t t at is now in t e p"blic domain and free from any copyri! t infractions – for e%ample, ;34,444 5ea!"es *nder t e .ea> by &"les @erne – is now essentially, and for all practical p"rposes, infinite, w ereas at a point in very recent istorical time t ere was a specific n"mber of copies of it, all prod"ced on paper, and all owned by t e specific people w o ad access and property ri! ts to t ose p ysical, limited, finite copies ,in a sense, now, t e te%t is owned by every sin!le person on t e planet, at least potentially, alt o"! not yet in every lan!"a!e written on t e planet-. T e a"t ors cite T omas &efferson's description of an idea as bein! similar= ;its pec"liar c t at no one possesses t e less, beca"se every ot er possesses t e w ole of it.> 8illiam +er!"son, Scientific American 1st $pril 341:, makes t e point t at di!itisation led by t e $ri)ona 1eolo!ical ."rvey is allowin! t e a!!re!ation of information on !eot ermal wells s"rveyed in t e 19C4s, ?4s and 94s b"t w ic ave been sittin! "n"sed in filin! cabinets since t en. 'espite fears over t e potential environmental dama!e involved, we may see a '!old r"s ' of minin! and e%ploration for metals s"c as !old, copper, man!anese and cobalt from t e ocean floor, wit a plan for s"c a development bein! p"t o"t by t e *nited Nations International .eabed $"t ority in 341:. $ !reat deal of o"r inventions and discoveries depend "pon "s bein! open to t em. $s Aarcel 2ro"st p"t it= ;T e real voya!e of discovery consists not in seekin! new landscapes b"t in avin! new eyes.> It is improbable t at e was referrin! to t e 1oo!le !lass at t e time, "nless e ad /"st ret"rned from time travellin! to t e f"t"re. T is is partic"larly tr"e if we develop t e kind of 'lateral t inkin!' espo"sed by Edward de <ono and t e open7 minded 'conve% t inkin!' described by Nassim Nic olas Taleb. Time is of t e essence. 2atrick 'i%on, ;+"t"rewise> ,344C- points o"t t at, at t e time e was writin!, :4L of sales co"ld be lost if a website took more t an :4 seconds to load. T is acceleratin! pace as led to a co"nterpoint in manifestations s"c as t e .low +ood movement.

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overw elmin! risk of /oinin! t e ranks of t ose feat"red in a work s"c as 'an 1ardner, ;+"t"re <abble> ,3413-19. It is a !reat c allen!e to be tr"ly savvy34 abo"t t e f"t"re. .ome potential pro!ressions can be disc"ssed vol"bly and t en t"rn o"t not to occ"r w ilst ot er developments may be less widely disc"ssed b"t t"rn o"t to ave !reater lon!evity 31. .ome of t e most c eris ed or most yped f"t"re developments, eralded as bein! /"st aro"nd t e corner, instead seem to be perennial vapo"rware. Dt er #"ieter developments, made "nder t e radar of p"blicity and attention7!rabbin!, inte!rate t emselves into o"r lon!7term and o"r everyday lives. +"rt ermore t ere is t e pervasive effect of $mara's law, w ere we tend to overestimate t e effects of a c an!e in t e s ort7term and "nderestimate its lon!7term impact. 8 atever t e precise c an!es, t ere is no do"bt t at we live in an era of tr"ly vast transition and c an!e, and t is makes predictions partic"larly c allen!in!= sometimes it mi! t seem more pr"dent, for e%ample, to sketc o"t possible areas of transition rat er t an makin! doctrinaire or do!matic statements abo"t partic"lar c an!es in detail. <y New Year's Eve 3499, for instance, we may ave t e be!innin!s of an interplanetary civilisation. Icar"s Interstellar's 2ro/ect Icar"s, 2ro/ect 6eli"s and 2ro/ect Tin Tin mi! t be commonplace entities. .pace mi! t be criss7crossed by micro spacecraft s"c as t e crowdf"nded 9"be.ats of t e 2ocket .pacecraft pro/ect. 8e mi! t ave a moon colony ,w ic mi! t or mi! t
19 2eter 'ennin!, ;Talkin! <ack to t e Aac ine= 9omp"ters and 6"man $spiration> ,1999, p.E- cites t e famo"s prediction, w ic may be apocryp al, of T omas 8atson, c airman of I<A, w o apparently said in 19E: t at ;I t ink t ere is a world market for maybe five comp"ters.> 8illiam (elvin stated p"blicly t at ' eavier t an air' flyin! mac ines were impossible. 0obert 1oddard in t e 1934s and 19:4s s"!!ested t at rockets wo"ld never !o "p in space. 6.N.<railsford wrote in 191E t at national bo"ndaries were finally fi%ed and t at t ere was little c ance of f"rt er wars between t e Msi% 1reat 2owersN Irvin! +is er declared t at t e stock market was likely to ride a !reat deal i! er a week before t e 1939 8all .treet 9ras . 2redictions are easy to a"dit in retrospect w en certain tra/ectories ave played t emselves o"t, b"t not easy to make at t e time. $s Niels <o r is said to ave encaps"lated it= ;2rediction is very ard to do. Especially abo"t t e f"t"re.> T is is of co"rse partic"larly tr"e for ot er species, none of w om can t ink abo"t t e f"t"re, if 'aniel 1ilbert, ;.t"mblin! on 6appiness> ,344G- is ri! t ,"nless of co"rse we ave fallen prey to ant ropocentrism and simply do not "nderstand t e ways in w ic ot er species t ink or plan for t e f"t"re-. 1ilbert as added t e verb 'ne%tin!' to t e lan!"a!e. 2res"mably if we are ne%tin! w en sendin! a te%t messa!e, we are ne%tin! te%tin!. $ different view of t e matter is s"mmed "p by *. comp"ter scientist $lan (ay, w o ar!"ed t at ;t e best way to predict t e f"t"re is to invent it>. $ction may speak lo"der t an words in t is conte%t – as &.1.<allard ad it, ;If eno"! people predict somet in!, it won't appen>. 34 $lan 1ordon, ;+"t"re .avvy> ,344?- points o"t fail"res in predictions s"c as t e pre7millennial tension over t e potential Y3( disaster. 2er aps in t e twenty7first cent"ry and beyond we mi! t develop a system of metrics ,per aps called 2redictipoints- w ic assess t e n"mber of predictive statements abo"t t e f"t"re, wit timin!s, made by commentators and soot sayers. Eac commentators' predictipoints totals wo"ld t erefore f"nction rat er like t e feedback system in e<ay or Yelp w ic ave been instr"mental in t e tr"st element of t ose fora. .omebody mi! t predict, for instance, t e e%c an!e rate between t e dollar and t e yen on 1st &an"ary t e ne%t year, or t e n"mber of flamin!oes in e%istence on t at date, or t e n"mber of places wit water fo"nd in t e "niverse by t at date, or predict t e total market s are of Tesla Aotors or t e "ptake of t e Nissan 5eaf on t at date, and t en be /"d!ed accordin! to t e veracity of t eir predictions. Dver time viewers of t ese predictions co"ld t en !ravitate to t e 'elp ic oracles t ey find most acc"rate – or, alternatively, t e kind of 'professors of foresi! t envisa!ed by 6.1.8ells in a <<9 broadcast in 19:3. 31 $n interestin! perspective ere is bein! provided by t e a!!re!ation of lar!e amo"nts of data. $s an e%ample, data vis"alisers &er T orp and Aark 6ansen ave depicted t e rise ,and sometimes fall, or ot er times fall and t en re7rise- of tec nolo!ical trends disc"ssed in t e 1FG: iss"es of Popular Science ma!a)ine since 1?C3 at t eir free online arc ive. $ similar tool wit lar!er scope is 1oo!le's N!ram @iewer w ic allows people to find o"t ow prevalent a partic"lar word or p rase as been in books over t e co"rse of cent"ries. Ere) $iden and &ean7<aptiste Aic el, ;*nc arted= <i! 'ata as a 5ens on 6"man 9"lt"re> ,341:- posit t at t e N!ram @iewer is akin to t e invention of t e telescope, allowin! "s a lon!7term panoramic vision of t e rises and falls of trends in "man istory over t e lon!7term T is r"ns in parallel wit so"rces s"c as t e Twitter Trendmap w ic provides ever more acc"rately localised information on w at is trendin! ri! t at t e moment aro"nd t e !lobe. In a similar vein, w at wo"ld also be partic"larly "sef"l wo"ld be a site t at a!!re!ates proposals and ideas for inventions, developments and new enterprises and t en analyses to w at e%tent t ey ave been completed in reality. If it doesn't e%ist already, it wo"ld be !reat to ave a metric system t at rates t e e%tent to w ic a proposed invention or development as been created – wit a yperloop bein! at, say, ?4L at a partic"lar moment in time. T en a reader co"ld scan a lar!e list of entities, see at w at broad level t ey are all developin!, and t en !ain access to f"rt er reso"rces of information on t em as well as action plans on ow to contrib"te to t eir manifestation.

not incl"de a l"nar ark33 and mi! t be linked to "s by laser comm"nication t at is as easy as .kypin! somebody-, or colonies on ot er planets 3:, and mi! t be by t at point t e first species t at e%ists in different parts of t e "niverse – for all we know at t e moment, !iven o"r c"rrent state and "nderstandin! of .ETI, t e 'rake e#"ation and t e +ermi parado% ,and !iven w at 2a"l 'avies refers to as t e 'eerie silence' from o"r investi!ations of t e cosmos to date-, t e first one to do so. It may be t at an interplanetary civilisation is part of t e very teleolo!y of "manity 3E. .pace civilisation may mirror o"r earlier movement o"t of $frica F4,444 to ?4,444 years a!o, and may f"nction as a similar form of 'e%tinction ins"rance'3F. It may not= on t e ot er and, and ass"min! t at we ave mana!ed to avoid vast cataclysms t at drastically lower pop"lation levels 3G, we may be limited to .paces ip Eart 3C and ensconced in t e task of providin! food, water and basic material !oods to f"fill t e lowest level Aaslow needs of many of t e ten billion or beyond w o are alive at t at point in istory and, at t e same time, attemptin! to maintain, conserve and steward as m"c of o"r planetary reso"rces as possible. $ccordin! to t e +ood and $!ric"lt"re Dr!anisation of t e *nited Nations in 3449, somet in! in t e order of 1.43 billion people are "nderno"ris ed today3?. 8it t e ri! t will and ima!ination it mi! t be possible to create a world wit o"t s"c
33 3: 3E T e idea of part of a moon colony bein! a 'N$ library t at acts as a kind of ins"rance policy or e%periment in Talebian anti7fra!ility in case of a problem t reatenin! life on Eart was voiced, for instance, by t e E"ropean .pace $!ency's c ief scientist 'r <ernard +oin! in 344E. $t w at point in istory, for e%ample, will t e descendents of t e Aars .ociety's Aars $nalo!"e 0esearc .tations act"ally be located on t e 0ed 2lanetO Dr, to almost #"ote $lfred 0"ssel 8allace in 194C – is Aars abitable yetO 9ameron .mit and Evan 'avies, ;Emi!ratin! <eyond Eart = 6"man $daptation and .pace 9oloni)ation> ,3413- p"t space e%ploration in t e conte%t of "man istory wit case st"dies s"c as t e pre istoric settlement of t e $rctic aro"nd F444 years a!o and t e 2acific Islands abo"t :444 years a!o, s"!!estin! t at it is part of o"r evol"tionary nat"re to adapt o"rselves to c allen!in! circ"mstances. ."c an ar!"ment is p"t forward by .tep en 6awkin! at <i! T ink, 3414. ."c as, for instance, t e disappearance of t e Eart 's ma!netic field. T e term comes from 0.<"ckminster +"ller, ;Dperatin! Aan"al for .paces ip Eart > ,19G9-. $ccordin! to 2eter 1leick of t e 2acific Instit"te, somet in! in t e order of 1:F million people will die before 3434 beca"se of a lack of safe drinkin! water and sanitation. $s noted in my earlier work, water desalination is one of t e most important frontiers of o"r knowled!e, since as noted in 'avid Petland, ;T e End of $b"ndance= Economic .ol"tions to 8ater .carcity> ,3411, p.9- 9CL of t e water on t e planet is salty ocean water. 9ynt ia <ennett, ;<l"e 0evol"tion= *makin! $merica's 8ater 9risis> ,3411- sees water ab"ndance as an ill"sion. 'epleted a#"ifers are a ma/or problem, w ic is w y t e discovery of two lar!e a#"ifers in (enya in .eptember 341: t ro"! satellites and radar was enco"ra!in!. Erik .eed o"se, ;Dcean D"tpost= T e +"t"re of 6"mans 5ivin! *nderwater> ,3414, p.9:- points o"t t at by some estimates we ave e%plored only abo"t FL of o"r oceans ,w ic cover C4L of t e planet- and one of o"r f"t"re tra/ectories may be t e rise of a#"ana"ts and "nderwater cities. T ere are c"rrently "nderwater researc labs s"c as Aarine5ab and $#"ari"s w ile arc itect &ac#"es 0o"!erie as been desi!nin! "nderwater cities since 19C4H anot er arc itect of "nderwater abitation is @incent 9alleba"t.. $not er e%ample in t is sp ere is &onat an 6a"ser's s"bmer!ed '6ydropolis' otel. &avier .ebis"a"bm ;<io7 $rc itect"re> ,341:, p.3E- points o"t t at "nderwater cities co"ld make "se of t e tendency towards biomimicry in arc itect"re by copyin! t e formation of beavers' lod!es. $t t e time of writin!, 9 ina is e%plorin! an oceana"t tra/ectory wit t e s"bmersible &ialon! becomin! t e world's deepest7divin! state7sponsored researc vessel. .ince we came, in evol"tionary terms, from t e sea, per aps it mi! t be nat"ral for "s to ret"rn t ere – even if not necessarily in a semi7a#"atically evolved format s"c as t e one envisa!ed in ("rt @onne!"t, ;1alapa!os> ,19?F-. If not completely "nderwater, ,and partic"larly as o"r floatin! point calc"lations improve- we mi! t instead develop floatin! cities t at may or may not one day resemble t e kind of idea envisa!ed in t e work ;.ylorion 9ity> by D) an 6a)irlar at 'eviant$0T. $n e%ample ere is t e Ni!erian arc itect ("nle $deyemi's $frican 8ater 9ities 2ro/ect or t e work of t e .easteadin! Instit"te. $ prototype ere are t e already e%istin! @ery 5ar!e +loatin! .tr"ct"res ,@5+.- s"c as &apan's Ae!a7+loat r"nway or @anco"ver or New York's floatin! eliports. T e &apan .ociety of .teel 9onstr"ction proposed a floatin! city in one of t e foci of Dsaka <ay, as disc"ssed in 9.A.8an! and <.T.8an!, ;@ery 5ar!e +loatin! .tr"ct"res> ,344C , p.1?-. 8e mi! t also see t e development of floatin! principalities like .ealand or places wit /"risdictions o"tside t e framework of e%istin! or establis ed nation7states. $lready we ave a pro/ect s"c as .tatoil's 6ywind w ic was t e world's first floatin! wind t"rbine off t e coast of 2eter ead, .cotland. 2ro/ects s"c as &ac#"es 0o"!erie's .eaDrbiter may become "bi#"ito"s. 9ities may adapt to floodin! by "sin! tec ni#"es s"c as t e desi!n by . ma 9ompany in T ailand, w ere water wo"ld be allowed into t e city to fill reservoirs, !row rice, and t en be filtered o"t into a river.

3F 3G 3C 3?

"nderno"ris ment at all by 3144. $t t e same time, owever, we may be e%tremely b"sy workin! to avoid a 0ac el 9arsonian 'silent sprin!' of widespread environmental and ecolo!ical catastrop e w ic may take "p m"c of o"r ener!y and reso"rces ,mi%ed, per aps, wit t e ever present dan!er of 'n"clear winter'39-. $ !reat deal depends on o"r ability to c oose and select virt"o"s spirals rat er t an vicio"s ones. Dn t e ot er and, t ere may be si!nificant c an!es t at f"ndamentally alter t e bo"ndaries and limitations wit in w ic we operate and redefine t e central #"estion at t e eart of economics – t e relations ip between scarce reso"rces and ab"ndant needs and wants. 6ere, a!ain, it is temptin! to resort to an anecdotal approac to describe t e scale and type of t e e%traordinary c an!es in information and idea proliferation t at ave occ"rred in my own lifetime. 8 en I went to st"dy at D%ford *niversity in 199G a newspaper article was a finite entity, printed on paper and limited to t e certain n"mber of copies t at were printed and distrib"ted, "s"ally, wit in a !eo!rap ically limited area ,local comm"nities in t e case of local newspapers and nation7states in t e case of national ones-. $t t e time of writin!, in 341E ,ass"min! I don't break typo!rap ical fi%ity and rewrite t is later-, a random newspaper article s"c as Aark Aiodownik, ;T e perovskite li! tb"lb moment for solar power> p"blis ed by The Observer on ."nday 3 Aarc 341End is an entity t at is not limited to t ose w o pay for t at partic"lar p"blication and is freely available bot across space ,bein! readable by anyone on t e planet wit an internet connection- and time ,ass"min! t at t e p"blication does not remove it at some sta!e, it will end"re for as lon! as o"r di!ital networks, or indeed civilisations, t emselves-, and is reprod"cible to, for all intents and p"rposes, an infinite level wit o"t loss of #"ality in t e process of copyin! and wit o"t de!radation of t e #"ality of t e copy over time. Df co"rse t ere are certain p"blications w o ave c osen to ne!otiate t e economics ,or freeconomics- of t e period by c oosin! to erect paywalls or "se s"bsrciption models to limit t e amo"nt of material t at is available freely, and t ere is not a p"blication in t e world t at as not received profo"nd e%istential and administrative c allen!es as a res"lt of t is s ift, b"t t e clear transformation in istorical terms is t e fact t at previo"sly all articles ad to be stored eit er in t eir paper forms ,w ic ad to be directly paid for by an individ"al and t en kept in p ysical form, w ic t en decreased in #"ality over time- or in "man memory:4, w ereas now we ave access to a vast proportion of all t e articles p"blis ed in all of t e ma!a)ines and newspapers in t e entire world in almost any location at t e to"c of a b"tton. T e e%istence of links at a site s"c as ar!"es emp atically a!ainst t e c"rio"s notion t at is sometimes propa!ated t at t e information e%plosion as led to a narrowin! of ori)ons. ."c a s ift to yper7ab"ndance wit in a lifetime is di))yin!, verti!ino"s, and e% ilaratin!, and as vast ramifications t at can barely be ima!ined w ilst one lives t ro"! it – after all, as &ames <eni!er, ;T e 9ontrol 0evol"tion> ,19?G- ar!"ed, people are rarely aware at t e time of w at will later be considered t e tr"ly transcendent iss"es of t eir a!e. It even as t e c"rio"s e%istential by7prod"ct t at at times it becomes diffic"lt to remember #"ite w at life was like in t e days before t e ;6"ffin!ton 2ost> ad even be dreamt of w en a newspaper article was an entity t at e%isted only in t e previo"s form and ad not yet !rad"ated or transposed to t e c"rrent
39 In 3414 t e <"lletin of t e $tomic .cientists placed t e world at si% min"tes to midni! t on t eir 'oomsday 9lock, in lar!e part beca"se of t e c"rrent proliferation of n"clear weapons. In t e conte%t of talks between 8as in!ton and Aoscow for a follow7on a!reement to t e .trate!ic $rms 2roliferation Treaty t ey did, owever, assert t at ;8e are poised to bend t e arc of istory toward a world free of n"clear weapons>. ."c a world co"ld be created if lots of co"ntries followed t e e%ample of states s"c as .o"t $frica or *kraine w o !ave "p t eir weapons. 1iven t at t e +ederation of $merican .cientists ar!"es t at t ere are abo"t 33,G44 stockpiled n"clear weapons scattered aro"nd t e world ,CC44 of w ic are still f"nctional-, t ere is still a !reat deal of work to do. nd 'escribin! t e development of simple perovskite solar cells wit efficiencies p"s n! 34L by a team led by 'r 6enry .nait at D%ford *niversity. :4 6ence, of co"rse, t e fear t at rapid tec nolo!ical c an!e leads to 'biolo!ical atrop y' – for e%ample, t e notion t at we "se o"r memory less beca"se we "se devices more and more to remember t in!s. $n alternative view is t at we "se o"r memory in a different way, rat er t an 'less'.

manifestation. Dne finds oneself sometimes rememberin! t e world of t e very near and personal past wit present modes of activity almost implicitly, and falsely, encoded into t ose memories. It seems sta!!erin! and bi)arre now to remember a world w ere a newspaper article was read only on paper and t en almost certainly never seen a!ain ,or rat er never7seeable a!ain, "nless one made very special efforts to access limited p ysical arc ives in w ic to read it a!ain-. $ss"min! a contin"ation of t is era, t at article written in Aarc 341E will be as readable and accessible in 343E or 313E or 3441E as it was w en it was first cyber7printed. It is a c"rio"s e%perience today to read a di!itised version of a story or article t at was composed and written in paper form in, say, 199G w en t at transition was in embryo b"t ad not f"lly occ"rred yet. .ince t ey do not ave yperte%t"al links to t em, t ose articles are essentially a different order of entity and t eir difference is t erefore one of kind rat er t an merely one of de!ree. .ome people ave lived t ro"! periods w ere c an!e was relatively limited and, per aps, ad markedly different e%periences of personal memory. In a time of enormo"s and acceleratin! c an!e, t e process of memory and personal narrative7makin! is a radically different one. T e way t at t in!s were twenty years a!o, for e%ample, now seems in many respects like t e mores and practices of cent"ries a!o. .ome of t e relations ips between ab"ndance and scarcity are c"rrently diffic"lt to anticipate wit acc"racyH we mi! t, for e%ample, ave si!nificant reso"rces from elsew ere in t e "niverse, for e%ample t ro"! asteroid minin! by s"c as 'eep .pace Ind"stries or 2lanetary 0eso"rces:1. T e ramifications from entities s"c as t e 6"man <rain 2ro/ect :3, t e 6"man 9onnectome 2ro/ect or t e <rain $ctivity Aap are enormo"s, and by 3144 we will no do"bt ave seen e%traordinary advances in comp"tin! wit everyt in! from t e first e%aflop comp"ter ,capable of a billion billion calc"lations per second- to ne"romorp ic comp"ters, clo"d comp"tin! :: or #"ant"m comp"ters:E. It may not be merely a semantic difference if we evolve to a semantic web.
:1 ."c an event"ality was foreseen in 1erard D'Neill, ;T e 6i! +rontier> ,19CG-. ."san T omas, 0e"ters, Nov 31, 341:, points o"t t at meteorites yield si!nificant amo"nts of precio"s metals s"c as platin"m, r odi"m, iridi"m, r eni"m, osmi"m, r"t eni"m, palladi"m, !ermani"m and !old. 0esearc firm <ernstein notes t at a bi! asteroid called 1G 2syc e may contain eno"! nickel7iron to satisfy makind's c"rrent demand for millions of years. $!encies s"c as N$.$ are workin! on asteroids and meteroites for two reasons= firstly, for possible reso"rces, and secondly to avoid t e kind of dama!e t at was done by an asteroid GF million years a!o t at led to mass e%tinctions partic"larly of dinosa"rs – see for instance 5eon .ilver and 2eter .c "lt), ;1eolo!ical Implications of Impacts of 5ar!e $steroids and 9omets on t e Eart > ,19?3-. T e 9 elyabinsk scenario in 341: was fort"nately rat er more limited. $ccordin! to 'iane .ylvester, ;Inventions, 0obots, +"t"re> ,19?E, p.?C- asteroid minin! co"ld lead to a !old r"s similar to t at of 9alifornia in 1?E9. It mi! t even be possible one day to redirect comets from t e Dort clo"d or ("iper belt in order to release water to ot er parts of t e "niverse – as noted by Nancy $tkinson in Universe Today, Ft Dctober 3411, t ere is evidence from t e 6ersc el infrared space observatory t at comet 6artley 3, w ic ori!inates from t e ("iper belt, contains water wit t e ;same c emical si!nat"re as t e Eart 's oceans> w ic stren!t ens claims t at Eart 's water may ave ori!inated at least in part from a comet bombardment. :3 $n interestin! parallel pro/ect is t e Dpen8orm pro/ect, w ic is open so"rce and aims to create t e world's first virt"al or!anism in a comp"ter, a 9.ele!ans nematode. $s Eric 0aymond p"ts it, ;1iven eno"! eyeballs, all b"!s are s allow.> :: In an article in ired, 33nd +ebr"ary 3413, 9arl <ass ,9ED of $"todesk Inc- described t e era of de facto 'infinite comp"tin!' 7 ;8e are e%periencin! a new economic model= a problem t at takes one 92* 14,444 seconds to solve costs abo"t 1Gp. <"t wit t e scalability of t e clo"d, we can apply 14,444 92*s to t e same problem and t ey will solve it in a second. .olvin! t e problem 14,444 times faster still costs 1Gp. <ein! able to apply infinitely more reso"rces to a problem for no additional cost is a first in istory.> 6e sees an overab"ndance w ere we ave essentially more comp"tin! power t an we can "se – b"t describes t is as merely a 'be!innin!'. In a world w ere t ere are at least a billion transistors per person, it is interestin! to pa"se and reflect t at t is may well be simply early days in t e evol"tion of comp"tin!. :E In an article on 'avid 'e"tsc , 0ivka 1alc en, The !ew "or#er, 3nd Aay 3411, ar!"es t at ;wit one milliont of t e ardware of an ordinary laptop, a #"ant"m comp"ter co"ld store as many bits of information as t ere are particles in t e "niverse.> ,1eordie- 0ose's 5aw may replace ,1ordon- Aoore's 5aw. $lt o"! #"ant"m comp"tin! is only in its infancy at t e time of writin!, in November 341: it was reported by a team at 9anada's .imon +raser *niversity t at t e record for #"bits was e%tended to t irty nine min"tes.

<y 3144 t e 9 inese Tian e73 s"percomp"ter, at t e time of writin! t e fastest in t e world ,operatin! at ::.?G petaflopJs- may look similar to t e way t at a comp"ter s"c as t e I<A GF4 ,from 19F:- or t e $pple 1 ,from 19CG- look today, or even t e way t at t e 2ascaline ,<laise 2ascal's calc"lator of 1GE3- looks today:F. 5aptops and comp"ter systems may be widely self7b"ilt on an open so"rce model, b"ildin! on prototypes s"c as .ean 9ross and <"nnie 6"an!'s 2ro/ect Novena. 8e may see access to t e internet bein! distrib"ted ever more widely, manifestin! t e dream of an 'Internet of T in!s' driven by people s"c as (evin $s ton and $le%andra 'esc amps7 .onsino ,or, alternatively, 'p ysical comp"tin!', 'A3A':G, 'pervasive comp"tin!', '"bi#"ito"s comp"tin!', 'ambient intelli!ence', 'web7a"!mented t in!s', '"bicomp' or t e 'onlife world' :C-, w ic may elp to provide constantly "pdated information t at elps to facilitate all manner of interactions t at break down barriers of space and time and reform"late and res ape comm"nities as well as individ"al lives. $s /"st one e%ample, we may ave everyt in! from "mbrellas w ic report to "s t e meterolo!ical predictions for precipitation t at day to alarm clocks t at feed "s information based on train times and allow "s more time to sleep w en t ey are delayed to t e "se of location7 based services s"c as +o"rs#"are t at mi! t be encoded into an ornament at ome t at tells o"r families w ere we are , opef"lly wit t e caveat t at we ave f"ll control over it, from t e point of view of privacy-:?. $s more and more of t ese kind of devices become entrenc ed into o"r everyday lives on an increasin! n"merical scale :9 ,and, indeed, t ere are more and more of w at 'avid 0ose refers to as 'enc anted ob/ects'E4 aro"nd "s- it is likely t at we will become more and more acc"stomed to t em and t ink of t em less and less. $t some sta!e, it will be important to describe to s"cceedin! !enerations #"ite w at life was like wit o"t s"c a "bi#"ity. $s a f"rt er e%ample ere of t e kind of barterin!, tr"ckin! and e%c an!in! t at is more and more possible as a res"lt of s"c interconnections and conver!ences, Aarissa Aayer of Ya oo noted t at on a recent +riday ni! t in 341E ,w ic s e describes as t e year of t e 'tippin! point' of tec nolo!y-, 1F4,444 people ad let stran!ers stay in t eir o"ses t ro"! $irbnb, more t an 1.F
:F $nt ony Townsend, ;.mart 9ities= <i! 'ata, 9ivic 6ackers and t e B"est for a New *topia> ,3414- points o"t t at t e typical 92* in a contemporary smartp one is ten times more powerf"l t an t e 9ray71 s"percomp"ter installed at t e 5os $lamos National 5aboratory in 19CG. In anot er view t at stresses t e p enomenal rate of c an!e in a tiny amo"nt of istorical time, Intel 9ED 2a"l Dtellini stated in 3413 t at a smartp one today as more comp"tin! power t an all of N$.$ did w en it p"t a man on t e moon in 19G9. +orrester, a market researc firm, pro/ects t at by 341G t ere will be over a billion smartp ones worldwide. <arry 5ibert, ;T e Aobile 0evol"tion ,Intelli!ence on 'emand-> ,341:- asserts t at more people c"rrently ave mobile p ones t an ave electricity or r"nnin! water, w ic obvio"sly raises t e #"estion of ow t e information t at can be s ared via p ones can be "sed to provide t ose two w ere it is c"rrently absent. T e ever acceleratin! pace of development b"ilds on t e estimate by 0ic ard 8"rman, ;Information $n%iety> ,19?9- t at t e weekday edition of t e !ew "or# Tmes contained more information in 19?9 t an t e avera!e person in seventeent cent"ry En!land was likely to come across in a lifetime. If t at was tr"e in 19?9, t e sit"ation by 3144 – is likely to be even more radical and drastic still. $fter all, as 0ick .molan and &ennifer Erwitt, ;T e 6"man +ace of <i! 'ata> ,3413- p"t it 7 ;Now, in t e first day of a baby's life today, t e world creates C4 times t e data contained in t e entire 5ibrary of 9on!ress>. In some narratives, t is is a ca"se for concern or an%iety wit t e ,ar!"ably fallacio"s- notion of a "manity t at is drownin! in content, data, information and ideas. It can instead be a so"rce of optimism. Aobile learnin! in partic"lar can be a part of t e M"bi#"ito"s learnin!N and transmission of ideas and knowled!e disc"ssed in 'emetrios .ampson and 2edro Isaias, ;*bi#"ito"s and Aobile 5earnin! in t e 'i!ital $!e> ,3413-. T e potential of ever !reater feedback systems as all sorts of e%traordinary potential b"siness ramifications= in Nokia's w ite paper $achine%to%$achine& Let "our $achines Tal#, t ey !ive t e e%ample of ;an ice7cream vendin! mac ine wants to tell t e s"pplier t at it's r"nnin! o"t of c ocolate cones, enablin! t e vendin! operator to better sc ed"le is on7site visits.> 5"ciano +loridi, ;T e Et ics of Information> ,341:, p.?-. +loridi refers to t e blendin! of t e infosp ere and t e real world as a 'reontolo!isation' of t e latter by t e former. $drian AcEwen and 6akim 9assimally, ;'esi!nin! t e Internet of T in!s> ,341:'avid 9lark of AIT estimates t at wit in 1F or 34 years t ere may be somet in! in t e order of one trillion devices connected to t e internet. $ company s"c as <"! 5abs wants to "s er in an era w ereby we not only pro!ram and prod"ce new software, b"t new personalised ardware as well. 0ose's t esis is t at tec nolo!y is increasin!ly allowin! "s to create t e kind of enc anted ob/ects dreamt abo"t and confi!"red in traditional story7tellin! s"c as fairy tales.


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million people ad ired stran!ers to do daily errands for t em on Task0abbit, and FGL of people s"rveyed said t ey wo"ld consider rentin! t eir car to a stran!er ,w ic is at t e root of t e rise of cars arin! services s"c as Pipcar-E1. +or t ose w o believe t at local comm"nity is no lon!er vibrant, it wo"ld be interestin! to discover precisely ow many n"ptials or lon!7standin! friends ips ave occ"rred as a res"lt of pro/ects s"c as +reecycle, let alone t e vast m"ltiplicity of datin! sites. 5ocal comm"nity may also be stren!t ened by t e common owners ip and decision7 makin! implicit in e%periments s"c as t at of t e football team Ebbsfleet *nited. $s a res"lt of t e yper7ab"ndance of information and t e "bi#"ity of ever more powerf"l comp"ters, 3144 may be a world c aracterised by a n"mber of profo"nd developments t at differentiate it from t e world t at I knew w en I was in Tokyo for t e millenni"m. 8e may see everyt in! from flyin! cars to entirely electric cars E3 to driverless carsE: ,w ic may be a !reat deal safer t an cars driven by people, and mi! t not even re#"ire traffic li! ts or stop si!ns if t ey can comm"nicate between eac ot erEE- to t e replacement of individ"al car owners ip by ever more vol"ntary co7operativesEF. 8e may see everyt in! from yperloops to $lc"bierre drives. If we do !et flyin! cars, o"r me!acities mi! t finally resemble +rit) 5an!'s ;Aetropolis> a cent"ry after it was made. 8e may see t e ine%orable rise of t e s"perintelli!ence described by 6ans Aoravec, ;0obot= Aere Aac ine to Transcendent Aind> ,3444-. 0obotics may ave developed o"t of all reco!nition from, say, t e tec nolo!y in i0obot's 0oomba vac""m cleaner t at was first introd"ced in 3443EG, <oston 'ynamics's <i! 'o!, or t e *TQ3 robot t at !ained t e 3413 <ot2ri)e and /oined a robot made by Ai ai 2olcean" in t at year by !ainin! over F4L in "manness ratin!s for t e first time. $rtificial intelli!ence may be far beyond t e wildest dreams of t ose w o convened t e seminal 'artmo"t conference in 6anover, New 6amps ire in 19FGEC. $lready we are seein! t e relatively early sta!es of t e way in w ic c"lt"re is bein! res aped by robotics, wit an e%ample bein! t e m"sical system of P7Aac ines desi!ned by &apanese roboticists, w o ave collaborated wit an artist s"c as .#"arep"s er. Everyt in! from factory floor liftin! to eart #"ake emer!ency responses co"ld be revol"tionised by t e kind of robotic e%oskeletons pioneered at t e 2isa .c "ola ."periore .ant'$nna. Dne day, we mi! t even see t e kind of i! 7#"ality, a"tomated food prod"ction foreseen in &"les and Aic el @erne, ;In t e Year 3??9>. Dne co"ld ima!ine a kind of microwave oven connected to t e internet w ere yo" co"ld p"t in a recipe and t en receive t e meal cooked o"t of in!redients w ic ad been delivered before and from a s"permarket – a possibility if artificially intelli!ent cookin! becomes cordon ble" standard. T e pace and rate of c an!e in artificial intelli!ence co"ld be yperbolic if 'aniel 'ewey's notion of an 'intelli!ence e%plosion' ,adapted in part from an idea first el"cidated by I.&.1ood in 19GE- becomes a reality, wit intelli!ent mac ines bein! able to create improvements to itself, w ic t en lead to f"rt er improvements, and so on. Aatter may be pro!rammable. D"r economy, as well as o"r sonatas E?, may be ydro!enE9.
E1 E3 E: EE EF EG EC T ere is !reat potential ere – Tec cr"nc pointed o"t in 'ecember 3414 t at private cars sit idle 9FL of t e time. 0ame) Naam, ;T e Infinite 0eso"rce= T e 2ower of Ideas on a +inite 2lanet> ,341:- observes t at between 1991 and 344F, t e capacity of lit i"m7ion batteries t at co"ld be bo"! t wit R144 went "p by a factor of 11. +or e%ample "sin! 1oo!le's 9 a"ffe"r software. 'isc"ssed by *lric Eberl, ;5ife in 34F4> ,3411-. $ view espo"sed by 2atrick T"cker of t e 8orld +"t"re .ociety. $nd t ere may be a real life version of Isaac $simov's 'Perot 5aw' t at a robot ;m"st not arm "manity> in order to stave off t e worst possible f"t"res envisa!ed by tec no7pessimists and neo75"ddites. $lt o"! it may still always prove to be t e case t at artificial intelli!ence can never #"ite attain t e same kind of intelli!ence t at c aracterises t e "man brain w ic as evolved over billions of years and may operate in a #"alitatively different fas ion from comp"ters, as disc"ssed for e%ample by &eff 6awkins, ;Dn Intelli!ence> ,344C-. 8 et er or not conscio"sness can be artificially created, or w et er t ere is a line beyond w ic we simply cannot !o, is one of t e most intri!"in! #"estions of o"r a!e. Iain A.<anks ,3413-. 'isc"ssed by, for instance, &erermy 0ifkin, ;T e 6ydro!en Economy> ,344E-. T is is partic"larly t e case !iven developments s"c as t e discovery by researc ers at Nort 9arolina .tate *niversity in 341E t at a one7

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.ome of it may even be anti ydro!enF4. 9arbon nanot"bes, followin! t e work of 6arry (roto and 0ic ard .malley in synt esisin! b"ckminsterf"llerene in 19?F as well as t e pioneerin! work of ."mi Ii/ima in 1991, may provide all sorts of applications wit t e promise of electircal cond"ctivity far beyond copper and t e possibility of fibres t at are 144 times t e stren!t and one si%t t e wei! t of steel. To date t ese ave been "sed for a wide variety of different p"rposes, from testin! w et er somebody as skin cancer by c eckin! for t e c emical dimet yls"fone to t e .ams"n! 'e7paper' display t at was la"nc ed in 344? ,re#"irin! no backli! tin!-F1. D"r economy may also be cas less ,or, alternatively, cas may be polymer rat er t an cotton and be able to s"rvive a spin in t e was in! mac ine F3-. D"r economy may be f"rt er and f"rt er radically res aped by t e !rowt of crowdf"ndin! and its implicit et ic of decentralisation on t e one and and direct and "nmediated e%c an!e between cons"mer and prod"cer on t e ot er. T is may accelerate a s ift from t e 34 cent"ry 'closed innovation' paradi!m to its 'open innovation' s"ccessor, wit t e !rowt of ;firms S"sin!T e%ternal ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and e%ternal pat s to market> to drive advances and improvements t . .ince t e late 3444s t ere as been an e%ponential s"r!e in t is fieldF: wit t e rise of everyt in! from (ickstarter to +"ndin! 9apital, 9rowdc"be to 2o)ible, 0eb"ildin! .ociety, 1row @9, <ank to t e +"t"re, Trillion +"nd, $b"ndance 1enerationFE, ."n+"nder ,t e intersection of crowdf"ndin! and renewable ener!y- as well as c arity donation fora s"c as &"st1ivin! ,or its offs oot, Yimby-. $t t e start of 341E t ere were appro%imately G44 crowdf"ndin! platforms in e%istence. $t some sta!e t e cosmos of social networkin! may be f"lly inte!rated wit n"mero"s crowdf"ndin! models so t at flows of information are directly linked to options to f"nd or s"pport pro/ects and activities, partic"larly t ose wit a creative an!le or a social or environmental et ic to t em. T is may coincide wit a reformation of t e bankin! and financial services ind"stry driven by or!anisations s"c as t e microfinance 1rameen <ank in <an!lades or (iva, or ot ers s"c as Triodos <ank, 9 arity <ank or t e Ecolo!y <"ildin! .ociety. 8e may see a more and more embedded s arin! economy t at is enmes ed into o"r more and more vertically disinte!rated economyFF t ro"! t e process of t e discovery of ;p ysical reso"rces t at co"ld be more efficiently and profitably s ared "sin! information networks> FG. $ll manner of e%amples ere may become more and more a part of t e fabric of o"r everyday lives, s"c as Pilok, Popa, *7E%c an!e, 5ands are and 9o"c s"rfin!, creatin! t e entrenc ment of an economy based on collaborative cons"mptionFC. T is may lead to a sit"ation, as disc"ssed by 9 arles 5eadbeater, ;8e7T ink> ,3449- w ere t e twentiet cent"ry yper7cons"mption driven by credit, advertisin! and owners ip is replaced by a 31 cent"ry et ic of rep"tation, comm"nity and s arin! t in!s and !ivin! t em awayst. Indeed, it may rat er baffle some istorians to read so many doc"ments disc"ssin! t e idea of an 'economic crisis' at t e t"rnin! point of t e 3414 decade w en anot er view of t e sit"ation mi! t be one of an ,admittedly at times rat er complicated- economic transition, s ift or indeed, even, renaissance. $fter all, in a world w ere t ere is everyt in! from
F4 F1 F3 t F: FE FF FG FC st atom t ick film of molybden"m s"lfide ,Ao.3- may work as an effective catalyst for creatin! yrdo!en. In &an"ary 341E t e $.$9*.$ e%periment at 9E0N s"cceeded for t e first time in creatin! a beam of anti ydro!en atoms. &"lian Ta"b, ;14 *ses for 9arbon Nanot"bes>, Tech !ews 'aily( :4t 'ecember 3413 T e <ank of En!land is plannin! to la"nc s"c banknotes from 341G. 6enry 9 esbro"! , ;Dpen Innovation> ,344G , p.%%iv$s noted by Eric 0ivera <"t)bac , ;9rowdf"ndin!= 5a eclosion de la financiacion colectiva, "n cambio tecnolo!ico, social y economico> ,3413-. 'isc"ssed in Aodwenna 0ees7Ao!!, ;9rowd +"ndin!> ,341:-. &effrey +"nk and 9 ristop er Aa!ee, ;E%ponential 9 an!e= 8 at drives itO> ,341E5isa 1ansky, ;T e Aes > ,34140ac el <otsman and 0oo 0o!ers, ;8 at's Aine is Yo"rs= 6ow 9ollaborative 9ons"mption is 9 an!in! t e 8ay 8e 5ive> ,3411Embodyin!, per aps, t e e%tensive work by Elinor Dstrom into ow systems of self7or!anised commons can work and flo"ris s"ccessf"lly.

e<ay to Etsy to 9afe2ress, it is obvio"s t at markets are !oin! to be f"ndamentally disr"pted – in a i! ly creative way. T is is ei! tened w en t e 'wisdom of crowds' is f"rt er levera!d in t e confl"ence between crowdso"rcin!, social networkin! and financial tradin! – on t e model of systems s"c as Aarketocracy, eToro's Dpen<ook,, 9"rrensee, +I.tat or P"l"Trade w ere people can copy t e trades and positions of ot ers ,wit t eir tradin! patterns bein! openly visible, allowin! a clear #"antification of t eir s"ccess or fail"re-. Dpen tradin! co"ld f"ndamentally res ape markets and systems t at tended towards oli!opoly or monopoly, allowin! for a different era of mercantile e%c an!eF?. Etymolo!ically, t e term 'economy' is derived from t e ancient 1reek 'oikos' or omestead. T e era of personal fabrication may see man"fact"rin! ret"rned to t e omestead from w ic all o"r economic activity developed istorically, wit t e electronic cotta!e or electronic scriptori"m f"sin! wit t e decentralised fab lab F9 or t e domesticated tradin! floor. If we do create an 'ener!y internet' fo"nded on renewables, we may also pro!ress to a point w ere one of t e first b"ildin! blocks of a family's domestic economy co"ld be t e monetisation of ener!y "ploaded from devices s"c as p otovoltaic cells or pie)oelectricy7!eneratin! 't in straws' on b"ildin!s G4 to local comm"nity micro7!rids w ic mi! t elp avoid blacko"ts on t e one and and operate in tandem wit lar!er pro/ects s"c as 'esertecG1 on t e ot er. D"r power s"pply and man"fact"rin! may be closed7loop G3. Everyw ere from offices to omes ,or yper o"sesG:- may be paperlessGE. T e omes t emselves may almost all be passive GF, s"perwindows may replace t e ener!y demands "nleas ed by t e traditional window GG, and "se of tec ni#"es s"c as t ermo!rap ic ima!in! may transform ins"lation, lower *7val"es to t eir limit, and c an!e t e very nat"re of arc itect"ral desi!n. $ lar!e proportion mi! t be "pcycled and mi! t be constr"cted o"t of "nwanted materials s"c as former s ippin! containers. 1entrification may be completely reinvented= areas of post7ind"strial "rban de!eneration and ne!lect may be revivified by pro/ects s"c as 8rite7$76o"se in 'etroit, Aic i!an, t at brin! in cl"sters of writers and artists, elpin! to crystallise vibrant "rban areas on t e one and and provide stable omes and s elter for
F? F9 G4 G1 G3 G: 0obert 5empka and 2a"l .tallard, ;Ne%t 1eneration +inance> ,341:- s"!!est t at social tradin! offers an ;investment opport"nity comparable to ed!e f"nds b"t in contrast offerin! a i! er level of transparency, li#"idity and accessibility.> Neil 1ers enfield, ;+ab= t e comin! revol"tion on yo"r desktop – from personal comp"ters to personal fabrication> ,344F-. ."c as t e b"ildin! desi!n by <elatc ew $rkitekter in .weden. 5a"nc ed in 3411 and aimin! to provide 1FL of E"rope's ener!y needs t ro"! solar and wind ener!y !enerated from t e deserts of Nort $frica. Dn t e model of t e (al"ndbor! power plant and ind"strial estate in 'enmark. T e constantly s iftin! str"ct"re desi!ned by t e Aelbo"rne company 9rowd cited in ."san 1reenfield, ;Tomorrow's 2eople= 6ow 31st 9ent"ry Tec nolo!y is 9 an!in! t e 8ay 8e T ink and +eel> ,344E-. T e desi!ner +red <l"mlein is #"oted as sayin!= ;T e o"se of t e f"t"re will be sort of like avin! a servant. 8it an a"tomatic, w i)7ban!, di!itally controlled environment, yo"'ll make a wis and yo"r wis comes tr"e.> Dr, alternatively, t ey may not – see for instance $bi!ail .ellen and 0ic ard 6arper, ;T e Ayt of t e 2aperless Dffice> ,3441-. It remains to be seen w et er t e screen, w ic Aark 2oster, ;Information 2lease= 9"lt"re and 2olitics in t e $!e of 'i!ital Aac ines> ,344G- describes as a ;liminal ob/ect, an interface between t e "man and t e mac ine t at invites penetration of eac by t e ot er> means t e end of paper. Ian .amson, ;2aper= $n Ele!y> ,3413- sees paper as remainin! t e ;! ost in o"r mac ines> so t at a !reat deal of t e way in w ic we navi!ate and interact on comp"ters and mobiles is based on t e pre7e%istin! formats of t e paper era. ."c a tendency can be seen in t e title of t e app la"nc ed by +acebook in 341E, 2aper. 2assiv o"se, an entire system of tools s"c as t e 2622 calc"lator, was created by 8olf!an! +eist and <o $damson, and is anot er e%ample of developments t at ave been open so"rce. .ee, for instance, &anet 9attrell and $dam 'adeby, ;T e 2assiv o"se 6andbook> ,3413-. $s disc"ssed for instance in $mory 5ovins, ;0einventin! +ire> ,3411, p.9C- w o ar!"es t at s"perwindows may look like t ey only ave two panes of !lass, b"t ins"late as if t ey ave 1G ,;or in a few cases 33>-. T e Empire .tate <"ildin! is an interestin! e%ample of t e reman"fact"rin! of traditional windows into s"perwindows wit marked ins"latin! effects.



creative people on t e ot er andGC. .imilar pro/ects are driven by or!anisations s"c as mi5E. w o fill empty spaces wit commercial vent"res on s ort7term vent"res to elp stave off t e atrop ication of "rban areas. 1 ost towns s"c as +ama!"sta G? may be transformed into eco7cities. $ lar!e n"mber of people mi! t live in tree o"ses, in eco villa!es like t e 5ammas in west 8ales or t e +ind orn Ecovilla!e in AorayG9, or in t e kind of self7b"ilt, low7cost ' obbit o"se' created by .imon 'ale. .paces ip Eart mi! t be covered in Eart s ips. 2eople may live in smaller and more condensed spaces on t e model of 1ra am 6ill's 5ifeEdited apartment or t e 144( o"se in 2 iladelp ia w ic is less t an alf t e avera!e si)e of a *. o"se C4. T ere may even be a stron! tendency for developments of t e interstices of e%istin! b"ildin!s alon! t e model of Aate"s) Aastalski and Dle 0obin .tor/o ann's '5ive <etween <"ildin!s' pro/ect, and for t e distrib"tion of simple accommodation s"c as i7<eam 'esi!n's pallet o"se, ori!inally desi!ned for ref"!ees b"t "sef"l in areas of i! pop"lation density, w ic can be assembled by anyone wit o"t partic"lar constr"ction knowled!e in only one day "sin! easily available materials. $ lar!e n"mber of people mi! t live in reconstit"ted entities s"c as s ippin! containers. If printed books still e%ist rat er t an di!ital books, t ere may never be a sin!le printed wit o"t a concomitant decision by a p"blis er to, for instance, b"y wind power credits e#"ivalent to t e amo"nt of electricity "sed to !enerate t e book in t e first place, or a decision to replant t e re#"isite n"mber of trees t at make "p t e pa!es of t e book. T ere may also be all sorts of f"sions of t e di!ital and paper, wit an e%ample bein! t e pro/ect led by t e *niversity of 9entral 5ancas ire to create newspapers t at are written on internet7enabled 'smart paper'. 8aste prod"cts may be transformed into vast n"mbers of ot er prod"cts on t e model of companies s"c as Tom .)aky's Terra9ycle. T e !l"ts and accretions of plastic in t e oceans and on land may be improved and removed by or!anisations s"c as 2lasticbank, w ile apps s"c as t e Aarine 'ebris Tracker can be "sed by lar!e n"mbers of people to observe and record places w ere t ere are a!!lomerations of r"bbis on coastlines and waterways, or by sc emes s"c as t e Dcean 9lean"p +o"ndation's Dcean 9lean"p $rray. 6opef"lly we may also ave fo"nd sol"tions to t e prevalence of endocrine disr"ptors t at ave possibly led to t e replacement of sperm by e!!s in male roac fis and may ave led to an overall decline in "man male fertility over t e co"rse of t e 34 cent"ry. 8it t e advances in voice reco!nition t at ave laid t e fo"ndations for $pple's .iri t or 1oo!le Now, we may ave omes t at are c"stomisable based entirely on o"r vocal commands. T e level and acc"racy of face reco!nition may e%pand e%ponentially beyond t at practised by 1oo!le's 2icasa. In s ops, s o"ld we c oose to allow o"r data to be open for s"c p"rposes, we may find more and more of t e kind of analysis of o"r smartp one information by t e s op itself t at is bein! pioneered by companies s"c as E"clid $nalytics, . opperTrak, 0etail Ne%t, Nomi and 2rism .kylabs, w ic may lead to a different realm of individ"ally tailored c"stomer service. ."c
GC 1iven t e res"lts of t e 341E 'i!ital <ook 8orld and 8riter's 'i!est $"t or ."rvey, t at s owed t at FEL of traditionally and self7p"blis ed writers earn less t an R1444 ,UG44- per year ,t is is pres"mably not a s"rvey of financial writers, or t ose wit t e time to immerse t emselves in everyt in! from Investopedia or Pero6ed!e and also ass"min! t at t ey aren't simply earnin! millions of 'o!e9oin, 9oinye9oin, Aa%9oin , <ernard 5ietaer's terra or t e 9 inese B coin or t e "ndreds and "ndreds of ot er alt coins instead-, s"rely it is not "nreasonable for t ere to be similar pro/ects to 8rite7$76o"se aro"nd t e world in c"lt"res t at act"ally val"e t eir civilisation rat er t an don't. $ more optimistic view for writers does e%ist= 0ic ard 5an am even p"ts forward t e idea t at in t e 'attention economy' of t e di!ital rat er t an t e 'economy of st"ff' of t e p ysical writers are central rat er t an perip eral= ;arts and letters now stand at t e center. T ey are t e disciplines t at st"dy ow attention is allocated, ow c"lt"ral capital is created and traded.> G? 5ondon .c ool of Economics Ai%clo"d podcast, +ebr"ary 341E G9 .ee t e 1lobal Ecovilla!e Network for more at ttp=JJ!en.ecovilla!e.or! C4 Aark 9leary ed, ;31st 9ent"ry ."stainable 6omes> ,3411, pp.1471:t Not, it as to be stressed, t e narrator of 2eter 8atts, ;<lindsi! t> ,344G-. Dne of t e interestin! developments in t e cent"ry wo"ld be t e discovery t at we ad been co7e%istin! for some time wit aliens w o mi! t not, for instance, e%ist wit in t e electroma!netic spectr"m wit in w ic o"r empirical senses operate.

a realm is also made possible by t e e%pansion of cons"mer power represented by t e a!!re!ation of online reviews of prod"cts s"c as Dn t e ot er side of t e e#"ation, data a!!re!ation may not only elp s ops to serve c"stomers, b"t tools s"c as &ames 2atten's 9orporate +allo"t 'etector ,9+'- w ic provides a n"mber of clicks based on a metric of information on a prod"ct's et ical nat"ire ,based on information provided by so"rces s"c as )thical Consumer ma!a)ine- may empower p"rc asers to an ever !reater de!ree w en c oosin! !oods or services, and e%tend o"r differentiation even beyond price ,"sin! tools s"c as +roo!le- and towards services t at are in balance wit t e environment rat er t an o"t of it. $s in ot er fields, we may see more and more advanced forms of #"antification and meas"rin! on t e basis of retail ratin!s made by all sorts of so"rces, w et er for safety ,s"c as by *nderwriters 5aboratories-, #"ality ,9ons"mer 0eports- or s"stainability ,+orestEt ics-. 8e may see t e f"rt er e%tension of t e overcomin! of t e limitations of time and space described in Emily Na!le 1reen, ;$nyw ere> ,3449- wit t e ability to !o into s ops virt"ally aro"nd t e world and b"y prod"cts from t em directly – t ere as already been a race between 1oo!le and Aicrosoft, for instance, to take millions of :' p otos aro"nd t e world w ic mi! t allow "s, as &ames <radfield Aoody, ;T e .i%t 8ave> ,3414, p.iii- points o"t, ;to visit New York, enter a department store, and browse and b"y its !oods – all from yo"r ome comp"ter.> C1. 2rediction markets may play lar!er and lar!er roles in t e provision of services, s"c as t e "se of an inde% like t e 6ollywood .tock E%c an!e as a way of c artin! t e likely tra/ectory of a film's bo% office s"cccess or fail"re in t e f"t"re ,wit t e f"rt er and f"rt er efficiency of metrics s"c as 0otten Tomatoes' Tomatometer to !a"!e critical a"dience reaction to films, or t e similar votin! system "sed by t e Internet Aovie 'atabase-C3. $ similar entity in t e video !ames arena as been simE%c an!e. 8e may see t e price discovery mec anism more and more revol"tionised wit t e development of ever more n"anced micro7c"rrencies as well as e%c an!es for partic"lar sp eres of information and commodities – and t e ever !reater m"s roomin! of stock e%c an!es t emselves. Tradin! may be revol"tionised by t e comple% interconnections of t e di!ital world of bits and t e p ysical world of atoms, wit an e%ample bein! t e perceived ratin! by Edward 9astronova of Norrat , t e settin! for t e online !ame Ever#"est, as bein! t e CC ric est co"ntry in t e world ,ranked between 0"ssian and <"l!aria- in 3443. +"rt ermore, t e era of #"antification and t e efflorescence of metrics may see advances in e#"ations for intelli!ence itself, !iven t e work of somebody s"c as $le% 8issner71ross. <y 3131 t e problem of people worryin! abo"t Internet $ddiction 'isorder after readin! ."san 1reenfield novels may be solved, partic"larly if almost everybody becomes t e kind of di!itally connected and savvy ' yperbein!' envisa!ed in 0"dy de 8aele and 5o"ise 9ampbell, ;. ift 3434> ,341E-. T e world may resemble a kind of e%tended synt esis of t e +lintstones t and t e &etsonsC: wit a mi%t"re of back to basics et ics on t e one and ,wit , even, .tone $!e aest etics to t em, in t e case of 9 arlie 6a!"e and Ae!an 8illiam's ' obbit o"se' in 2embrokes ire- and radical tec no7f"t"rism on t e ot er. $tomically precise man"fact"rin! may "s er in a new ind"strial CE ,or
C1 T e si%t wave in #"estion is w at t e a"t ors see as t e si%t (ondratiev wave in istory, occ"rrin! after t e fift ,t e information revol"tion from t e 19C4s onwards-, and one t at will be defined by reso"rce scarcity and t e need for reso"rce efficiency. T is is not to be conf"sed wit 6ermann 6a"ser's si% waves of comp"tin!, incorporatin! 1- mainframes, 3- minicomp"ters, :- workstations, E- t e 29, F- smartp onesJclo"d comp"tin! and G"bi#"ito"s comp"tin! and mac ine learnin!. C3 'isc"ssed in 9ass ."nstein, ;Infotopia= 6ow Aany Ainds 2rod"ce (nowled!e> ,344Gt +or e%ample in ideas s"c as a ret"rn to t e 'primitivism' of past societies s"c as &o n Per)an, ;+"t"re 2rimitive> ,199E-. $ work t at espo"ses t e kind of mentalities and 8eltansc a""n! of indi!eno"s societies and c"lt"res is t at of &ared 'iamond, ;T e 8orld *ntil Yesterday> ,3413C: $ccordin! to &effrey T"cker, ;It's a &etson's 8orld> ,3411- it already, in a sense, is. T"cker describes a process of 'miracle fati!"e', w ere we become so "sed to s"c a lar!e n"mber of c an!es and advances in o"r time t at we become at times in"red to t em. CE .ee for instance 9 ris $nderson, ;Aakers= T e New Ind"strial 0evol"tion> ,3413-. 6opkinson, 6a!"e and 'ickens, ;0apid Aan"fact"rin!= $n Ind"strial 0evol"tion for t e 'i!ital $!e> ,344G- e%plore man"fact"rin! in t e

in a sense post7ind"strial- revol"tionCF t at is absol"tely predicated on efflorescence and ab"ndance !iven t e ability to man"fact"re a vast ran!e of prod"cts drawn from a di!ital library CG and may f"flill t e vision prod"ced by 0ic ard +eynman in 19F9 of a ;billion tiny factories, models of eac ot er, w ic are man"fact"rin! sim"ltaneo"sly>. T e word MtinyN ere may be central since, in t e spirit of former paradi!m7s iftin! inventions s"c as t e microc ip by &ack (ilby and 0obert NoyceCC, we may see a process w ere !reater and !reater capacity is condensed into ever smaller entities – a variant of t e E.+..c "mac er dict"m t at Msmall is bea"tif"lN C? or .et 1odin's 'small is t e new bi!'C9. If t e world is really a m"ltiverse of parallel "niverses, envisa!ed in t e work of 6"! Everett, t en it mi! t even be possible at some sta!e to constr"ct a mac ine to allow "s to move to parallel "niverses?4. *niversity lect"res may be broadcast t ro"! /edi7like olo!rap ic ima!es?1. <iometrics may ave rendered everyt in! from keys to wallets obsolete. 'evelopments and devices s"c as t e +reedom<o%?3 may allay fears over s"rveillance and elp to maintain privacy in a yper7connected world, partic"larly !iven t e concerns laid o"t by Eli 2ariser, ;T e +ilter <"bble> ,3411-. 8as in! mac ines may "se vastly less water if t ose pioneered by Ieros f"lfill t eir promise and become "bi#"ito"s. D"r mac ines may be spirit"al. <y ?43C41, t ey mi! t be time?:. T ey may often be biolo!ical, wit t e e%ample of E.coli bacteria bein! en!ineered into bein! simple analo!"e comp"ters by 0a "l .arpes kar and Timot y 5" of AIT. T ey may even be
CF di!ital era, in partic"lar !iven t e improvement in tools s"c as 9$' since inception in t e 19C4s. &eremy 0ifkin, ;T e T ird Ind"strial 0evol"tion= 6ow 5ateral 2ower is Transformin! Ener!y, t e Economy and t e 8orld> ,3411- views t is period as offerin! t e opport"nity for a t ird ind"strial revol"tion driven by t e interrelations ip between renewable ener!y and t e internet, since, in is view, ;t e !reat economic revol"tions in istory occ"r w en new comm"nications tec nolo!ies conver!e wit new ener!y systems.> 6ere e posits t e idea of an ener!y internet. T is is similar to <ob Aetcalfe's idea of an 'Enernet' ,or ener!y network- w ic may ave similar e%pansive potential as t e Aetcalfe's 5aw t at e "sed to describe interconnections in networks !enerally.. D"r !rids may become smarter and smarter. Aarco $nn"n)iata p"ts forward a vision of a world w ere mac ines are more efficient based on t eir abilities to sense and transmit information – wit , for instance, aeroplane parts t at send a messa!e w en t ey need servicin! or wind t"rbines t at comm"nicate wit eac ot er to !enerate more electricity. T e latter is ec oed in a pro/ect s"c as 0oboEart w ic is d"bbed a '8ikipedia for robots' and involves a space w ere robots can s are information wit eac ot er on ow best to perform t eir f"nctions. T is is anticipated in Eric 're%ler, ;0adical $b"ndance= 6ow a 0evol"tion in Nanotec nolo!y 8ill 9 an!e 9ivili)ation> ,341:-. T.0.0eid, ;T e 9 ip> ,344C$ rat er bea"tif"l e%ample at t e time of writin! is t e development of micro7windmills t at are 1.?mm at t eir widest point developed by .mit a 0ao and &79 9 iao. $ sin!le !rain of rice co"ld old abo"t ten of t ese and t ey mi! t be able to power a mobile p one, for t ose w o do not "se ot er systems s"c as met anol f"el cells. $not er e%ample is t e s"spended microc annel resonator ,.A0- system developed by AIT en!ineers in 341E t at can meas"re t e mass of particles wit a resol"tion better t an an atto!ram, i.e. one milliont of a trilliont of a !ram. 8e may see lar!e developments in sp eres s"c as femtoen!ineerin! and picone!ineerin!. In terms of o"sin!, t e s ift to t e micro is embodied in creations s"c as $le% 5isefski's Tiny 2ro/ect &o n (elly and .teve 6amm, ;.mart Aac ines> ,341:- disc"ss t e e%ample of a team led by $ndreas 6einric at I<A w o, in 3411, prod"ced t e smallest device t at can be "sed to reliably store a bit of ma!netic information ,albeit at low temperat"re- w ic comprised /"st twelve atoms rat er t an, for e%ample, one million. .ee, for instance, Aic io (ak" in 0aymond 9 iao, Aarvin 9o en and $nt ony 5e!!ett, ;@isions of 'iscovery= New 5i! t on 2 ysics, 9osmolo!y, and 9onscio"sness> ,3414-. 6ere e points o"t ,p.GC- t at w ile t e 5ar!e 6adron 9ollider is t e world's most powerf"l particle accelerator to date, it can ;only prod"ce particles wit tens of trillions of electric volts. T e 2lanck ener!y, by contrast, is a #"adrillion times lar!er t an t e ener!y of t e 569.> .arwant .in! , ;New Ae!a Trends= Implications for o"r +"t"re 5ives> ,3413, p.%vii'isc"ssed by Aarvin $mmori, ;Dn Internet +reedom> ,341:-. 6.1.8ells, ;T e Time Aac ine> ,1?9F-. T is feat"res, for e%ample, in 1eor!ia 5"pi's timeline of f"t"re events p"blis ed in ;5a 5ett"ra>, t e ."nday literary s"pplement of ;9orriere 'ella .era>. Nancy $tkinson, ;9osmona"t .er!ei (rikalev, t e 8orld's Aost 2rolific Time Traveler>, Universe Today( 33nd Dctober 341:, ar!"es t at, t anks to time dilation and Einstein's t eory of relativity, time travel is already practised by astrona"ts and cosmona"ts, wit .er!ei (rikalev avin! practised it t e most ,; e as act"ally time7traveled into is own f"t"re by 4.43 seconds>-.


C9 ?4

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c aracterised by lovin! !race. .ome mi! t even be in t e lon!7dreamt of perpet"al motion ,or perpet""m mobile- cate!ory?E. 8e may ave worked o"t ow to condense treas"re troves s"c as t e Internet $rc ive's 8ayback Aac ine on to nano7devices w ic are t en transmitted to distant !ala%ies as introd"ctions of o"r civilisation to any ot ers t at we mi! t one day enco"nter or as tool bo%es for people settin! "p colonies elsew ere. T ere may be no s"c t in! as sc ed"led television anymore ,it may be ;appropriated into t e realm of t e di!ital> in 8illiam 1ibson's words-, patic"larly !iven t e s"ccess of models s"c as Netfli% and 6"l". $lternatively, t e trend for mass viewin! of certain pro!rammes, backed "p by commentary by viewers t ro"! social networks, may be f"rt er establis ed. T e cons"mer, locked in implicit passivity, may be a t in! of t e past, and repalced by a world of $lvin Toffler's pros"mers. T is may ave ramifications in fields s"c as television, wit t e possibility of more and more e%periments w ere dramatic narratives are s aped in real time by t e feedback and ideas flowin! in from t e 'a"dience' for w om t e fo"rt wall as been emp atically broken down. Nearly every "man bein! alive ,and a lar!e percenta!e of people from t e past, incl"din! t ose deemed to ave led 'ordinary' rat er t an distin!"is ed lives b"t w o still ave some sort of written records in e%istence abo"t t em- may reac a 8ar olian fame wit at least a 8ikipedia pa!e. 9omm"tin! to work by /et7pack?F may be an ele!ant way to avoid traffic and con!estion. 'is es mi! t be self7cleanin!?G. 9lot in! or constr"ction materials mi! t be self7 ealin! ?C. T e internet may be ever more wearable wit t e widespread diff"sion of devices s"c as sociometers ,partic"larly if t ere are developments s"c as t e rise of biode!radable s"!ar batteries- ??. 8 at is wearable may transform= leat er, for instance, may no lon!er be made from cows in t e vision of t e *niversity of 'elaware's 0ic ard 8ool. $lmost all s oes mi! t event"ally "se Aarty Ac+ly's power laces. $lmost every city in t e world mi! t ave a cat cafe like t e 9alico cafe in . in/"k", Tokyo. Aore and more of o"r everyday ob/ects may be based on t e et ic of Mcradle to cradleN ,and its 939 protocol- s"c as floors by . aw or 'esso or office f"rnit"re by .teelcase and Dran!ebo% ?9. $n enormo"s percenta!e of labo"r may be mec anised or a"tomised, and ere we face t e c allen!e of makin! t at process one w ic frees "s "p to p"rs"e pat ways and vocations t at f"lfill "s mentally, intellect"ally and spirit"ally. $ccordin! to 8assily 5eontieff ,19?:-, ;t e role of "mans as t e most important factor of prod"ction is bo"nd to diminis in t e same way t at t e role of orses in a!ric"lt"ral prod"ction was first diminis ed and t en eliminated by t e introd"ction of tractors.> In essence, t erefore, we ave to attain t e ri! t balance so t at o"r mec anical and a"tomative inventions provide "s wit !reater liberty and prosperity rat er t an in
?E It wo"ld be a brave so"l w o wo"ld predict t e creation of a perpet"al motion mac ine or system, rat er like a prediction of t e Aa!n"m Dp"s of t e alc emists, b"t developments s"c as Nobel 2ri)e winnin! p ysicist +rank 8ilc)ek's apparent proof of 'time crystals' in 3413 ,p ysical str"ct"res t at move in a repetitive pattern, wit o"t e%pendin! ener!y or stoppin!- may erald developments in t is sp ere. $s 6enry 'ircks ad it in 1?C1, ;8 y contin"e a race t e !oal of w ic as ever proved a del"sion and a pitfallO> ."c is t e nat"re, per aps, of t e pioneerin! spirit and t e desire to attain t e new frontier. ?F $n e%ample ere is t e Aartin /etpack w ic was invented by 1lenn Aartin in 19?1 in response to anot er /et pack t at at t e time ad a one min"te fli! t limit. In t e early 3414s, it ad reac ed a fli! t capability of over :4 min"tes at speeds "p to CE kmJ . ?G +or e%ample, t ose desi!ned by t e .wedis Tomorrow Aac ine desi!n st"dio w ic ave a s"per7 ydrop obic coatin!. ?C +or e%ample, t e s"permolec"lar r"bber pioneered by $rkema and t e Ind"strial 2 ysics and 9 emistry 6i! er Ed"cational Instit"tion in 2aris or, in t e field of materials, 6enk &onker's 'biocrete' w ere bacteria are mi%ed into t e traditional cement. ?? 'isc"ssed by 2en! To , ;T e 8earable 0evol"tion in 9ons"mer 'evices= T e Internet of .mart T in!s> ,341:?9 'isc"ssed by Aic ael <ra"n!a"t and 8illiam Ac'ono"! , ;9radle to 9radle> ,3449-, w o see a Mcradle to cradleN model of near infinite recyclin! possibility as bein! s"perior to t e Mcradle to !raveN man"fact"rin! model datin! from t e Ind"strial 0evol"tion. Ac'ono"! 's A<'9 company as, for instance, desi!ned an "p olstery fabric from wool and cell"lose t at is f"lly biode!radable and can be composted at t e end of its lifespan.

any sense limitin! "s or red"cin! o"r positions, val"e or stat"s in t e world 94. Dne of t e most pressin! tasks in a world of s"c a lar!e pop"lation is ens"rin! t at work satisfies deeper imp"lses and i! er callin!s in o"r nat"re, and avoid t e insec"ritisation of work t at is implict in t e idea of a !lobalised 'precariat' for w om work is transient and repetitio"s and, most pernicio"sly, often intermi%ed wit lon! periods of "nderemployment or "nemployment ,wit t e International 5abo"r Dr!anisation forecastin! a level of abo"t 31F million people bein! "nemployed worldwide by 341?, wit an "nderemployment rate per aps closer to one billion-.. 6opef"lly we will not reac a point in abo"t 31?4 w ere /obs s"c as bo"nty "nters are some of t e only ones left 91 – instead, it wo"ld be eartenin! if we constantly create new and interestin! vocations t at fit ever more closely to t e real skills and talents of t ose w o fill t em. It remains to be seen w et er t e sol"tion to work and prod"ctivity is t e invention of a 'sleep eliminator' first proposed by 6"!o 1ernsback in Science and *nvention ma!a)ine. If t ere is a Aars colony at some sta!e, owever, t e people on it mi! t benefit from somet in! in t e order of an e%tra E4 min"tes per day, w ic mi! t elp increase prod"ctivity. $ s ort workin! day, wit a few !entle o"rs of t e !eneral pressin! of b"ttons, mi! t be t e sol"tion, if we take a leaf o"t of t e &etsons book. 8e may see vast evol"tions in welfare and economic systems s"c as t e instit"tion of a basic income, alon! wit similar innovations t at may elp people to avoid dr"d!ery and ne!ative ro"tinisation of work ,or w at 'o"!las 9o"pland mi! t call 'microserfdom' 93- and instead allow !reater ab"ndance of time9: and liberty for e%pression and t e f"lfillment of vocation t at reform"lates o"r society's ideas of employment, work and careers. 8e may see a s ift from a standard :F or EF o"r workin! week to one in t e re!ion of, say, 34 o"rs per week 9E, wit t e rest of people's time bein! earmarked for t eir own individ"al and collaborative pro/ects. 8ork itself may be completely and "tterly transformed as a res"lt of tools s"c as +acebook's social !rap and 1rap $2I ,$pplication 2ro!rammin! Interface- wit t e ever !reater ability of people to a!!re!ate to!et er in real life forms based on virt"ally declared predilections and passions 9F ,wit tr"st
94 5ynn 8 ite, ;Tec nolo!y and Innovation in t e Aiddle $!es> ,19E4- ar!"ed t at t e 8est in t e medieval period was c aracterised by a power and mac ine revol"tion ,for e%ample t ro"! t e water w eel and t e vertical windmill- and t at t e ;c ief !lory of t e later Aiddle $!es...was not its cat edrals or its epics or its sc olasticism= it was t e b"ildin! for t e first time in istory of a comple% civili)ation w ic rested not on t e backs of sweatin! slaves or coolies b"t primarily on non7 "man power.> In fact, one co"ld ar!"e t at one of t e very allmarks of a concept of civilisation itself is t e de!ree to w ic "manity in !eneral are liberated from dr"d!ery and menial work and allowed to e%press t emselves in deeper ways. $s depicted in &o n 8a!ner's ;.tronti"m 'o!> series, 19C?794. .tewart <rand's ap orism as it t at ;information wants to be free.> .o do workers, w et er information workers or not. 0obert .kidelsky, &"liet .c or,Tim &ackson, <arbara $dam, $nna 9oote, &ane +ranklin, 'an +arley, ;Time on D"r .ide= 8 y 8e $ll Need a . orter 8orkin! 8eek> ,341:&o n Aaynard (eynes predicted in t e 19:4s t at tec nolo!ical improvements wo"ld lead to a standard 1F o"r workin! week by t e 31st cent"ry – a similar view was e%pressed by 1eoffrey 6oyle, ;3414= 5ivin! in t e +"t"re> ,19C3- w o anticipated a t ree day workin! week as standard. <en/amin +ranklin anticipated a workin! day of five o"rs, and <ertrand 0"ssell and 5ewis A"mford bot ar!"ed t at a 34 o"r workin! week s o"ld be s"fficient to provide t e !oods and services t at are needed by society. $ccordin! to <ill <ryson, ;Dne ."mmer= $merica 193C> ,341:- 2resident 9alvin 9oolid!e only worked fo"r o"rs per day, and slept a !reat deal of t e rest of it. T e s orter workin! week as not #"ite yet transpired, and in some sectors workin! weeks ave e%tended far beyond t at and work as become ever more competitive in terms of t e time p"t in, b"t it may be t at on t at partic"lar call (eynes and collea!"es were simply a lon! lon! way a ead of t eir time. $lt o"! diffic"lt to assess, accordin! to Aars all .a lins, ;.tone $!e Economics> ,341:- "nter !at erer societies may ave ad 'workin! days' of only t ree to fo"r o"rs on necessary food c ores. 1iven t e ab"ndance of time implicit in t is assessment, .a lins sees t e "nter7!at erer model as t e ori!inal 'affl"ent society' ,t o"! one w ic , one s"spects, was prone to cras es of calories in a similar way to o"r contemporary systems are prone to stock market falls and ot er c allen!in! vicissit"des-. To sli! tly mis#"ote Aies van der 0o e, one of o"r basic tasks as "man bein!s is to ac ieve t e !reatest amo"nt t at we possibly can do wit t e least time and ener!y – s"rely one of t e allmarks of intelli!ence itself. If a problem can be solved in one o"r rat er t an 14,444, t en it frees "p t e ot er 9,999 o"rs for rela%ation or, of co"rse, t e sol"tion of ot er problems. Erik <ryn/olfsson and $ndrew Ac$fee make t e point t at t e bo"ndary between play ,or leis"re- and work

91 93 9: 9E


operatin! as a form of social capital t at l"bricates and animates t ose interconnections-.. T e 9@ or res"me may be entirely replaced by t e 5inkedIn profile, t e 2eople 2er 6o"r avatar, t e +iverr embodiment or t e Elance, o'esk, 1"r".com, 99desi!ns, $ma)on Aec anical T"rk or manifestation. $ (lo"tscore may become a i! priority to an employer, as may s"ccessf"l contrib"tions to t e kinds of problems posed at fora s"c as Inno9entive, Nine.i!ma or Yo"rEncore. 8e mi! t see t e ever more ab"ndant frontier of #"antification of o"r social networkin! presences and t e way in w ic we s are and elp ot ers ,one's online presence mi! t be !raded by a vast m"ltiplicity of different points systems, w et er t e ("doP system for professional translators or t e 1enerosity .core t at is earned at t e website 1ifterin! or t e Tec norati top "ndred blo! ratin!s- into comple% composite n"mbers t at elp determine o"r s"ccesses and, cr"cially, infl"ence in careers and in local comm"nities 9G. 9ory 'octorow, for instance, describes t e idea of a 'tr"st c"rrency' called 8 "ffle9C, wit t e creation of reward points for s"ccessf"l interactions and interc an!es. ."c metrics mi! t mean t at we are in t e early sta!es of a !lobalised 0ep"tation .ociety, and we may refine t em to !ain insi! ts into w o t e most infl"ential people are in istory9? and in t e contemporary world. It may become almost non7 e%istent for people to ave a sin!le career or /ob title and t e portfolio may become t e absol"te norm99. Indeed, w ile division of labo"r and specialisation were important in!redients of t e Ind"strial 0evol"tion, as eralded in t e analysis of $dam .mit in t e .cottis Enli! tenment, it may be t e case t at sites s"c as .kills are accelerate t e rise of 0enaissance men and women for w om sin!"lar skills and abilities are anat ema and for w om, instead, a portfolio of interlockin! and interconnected abilities is t e norm. 8orkin! life is also likely to c an!e markedly as a res"lt of t e increased tendency towards lon!evity – t e retirement a!e of aro"nd C4, ori!inally created by <ismarck w en life e%pectancy in 1ermany was EG144, is not likely to remain as a fi%ed or ossified landmark over t e co"rse of t e cent"ry and beyond. 2ro/ects s"c as 144 'ays of .prin!, w ic transformed a former bo"ti#"e clot in! s op and a"to body s op in .an +rancisco into a comm"nity learnin! space, may be arbin!ers of a wider process of comm"nity learnin! and re7 skillin! pro/ects anticipated by t e ideas of Ivan Illic . 8e may reac a point w ere we are able to val"e time in partic"lar in a way t at "ses far more advanced metrics and work o"t ways to increase t e efficiency and effectiveness of t e time we spend in different activities. 8e mi! t even be able to work o"t ways to reac !eni"s level in certain fields well below a 14,444 o"r t res old. 8e may even reac t e point w ere almost all of t e world is connected to o"r information era, partic"larly driven by developments s"c as <ra)il's telecentros movement w ic is based on t e provision of free open so"rce access to cyberspace as well as t e 8orld 9omp"ter E%c an!e w ic takes "p discarded comp"ters in t e developed world and relocates t em in t e developin! world. D"r economic systems may be completely transformed by t e era of 'freeconomics' in 9 ris $nderson's terminolo!y141. T ey may be entirely res aped by t e era of t e 'socialstr"ct"red world'
as dissolved in many waysH t ey note t at in 341: "sers collectively spent abo"t 344 million o"rs eac day on +acebook, a !reat deal of t eir time bein! involved in t e creation of content for ot ers to en/oy ,a lar!e proportion of w ic is free and "nmonetised-. T ey observe t at t is is ;ten times as many person7 o"rs as were needed to b"ild t e entire 2anama 9anal.> T ey also note f"rt er t at none of t is is co"nted in 1'2 statistics as inp"t or o"tp"t, s owin! t e need for more advanced and n"anced ways of meas"rin! economic activity, partic"larly of t e freeconomic variety. 9G 8e may see e%ponential advances, t erefore, in t e meas"rement of infl"ence in one form or anot er. In t e intellect"al sp ere, t is will e%tend ideas s"c as 1arfield's 19C3 of 'impact factor' to new levels. 9C 'isc"ssed in 6assan Aas"m and Aark Tovey, ;T e 0ep"tation .ociety= 6ow Dnline Dpinions are 0es apin! t e Dffline 8orld> ,3413-. 9? $n e%ample ere is t e work of .teven .kiena and 9 arles 8ard w o "sed al!orit ms to try to determine w o t e most infl"ential people in istory ave so far been. 99 .et 1odin, for instance, favo"rs t e "se of t e term 'm"ltipational' to describe o"r workin! patterns 7 ;it means ' avin! more t an one occ"pation at a time', it's t e workplace e#"ivalent of 'm"ltinational'>. 144 Aitc $nt ony, ;T e New 0etirementality> ,341E, p.F141 9 ris $nderson, ;+ree= T e +"t"re of a 0adical 2rice> ,3449, p.1:- cites 1eor!e 1ilder, ;Aicrocosm> ,1994-

in t e perspective of Aarina 1orbis, ;T e Nat"re of t e +"t"re> ,341:- – a s ift anticipated by 2a"l <aran, one of t e fo"nders of t e Instit"te for t e +"t"re, w o foresaw a s ift from t e 19G4s away from centralisation and towards t e decentralisation and node7based interactions eralded by packet switc in!. T e s arin! economy may represent anot er sta!e of economics in "man istory, akin to t e k"la e%c an!e across t e Trobriand islands disc"ssed by <ronislaw Aalinowski, ;$r!ona"ts of t e 8estern 2acific> ,1933- and Aarcel Aa"ss, ;T e 1ift> ,193F-, and espo"sed in t e ideas of (arl 2olanyi and 1"y de <ord. &"st as t e printin! press accelerated t e s ift from fe"dalism to capitalism, partic"larly t ro"! t e development of t e protestant spirit and its translation of t eolo!ical val"es into mercantilist ones ,as ar!"ed by Aa% 8eber-, so per aps we may see a transition to a sta!e of economic and social or!anisation t at may "ltimately be seen as different in kind as capitalism was from its fe"dal antecedent. T is may be accelerated by t e invention of a device, material or entity w ose lon!er term ramifications mi! t not necessarily be partic"larly noticed at t e time ,a!ain dependin! on o"r ability to filter t e noise from t e si!nal, in Nate .ilver's terms, and make predictions abo"t t e f"t"re t at are as pinpoint as a 2interest board-. $n e%ample ere is t e development of t e stirr"p w ic , as disc"ssed by 2ierre 5evy, ;9yberc"lt"re> ,3441, p.C- elped to condition t e rise of fe"dalism and c ivalry by stim"latin! t e development of eavy cavalry. Ecolo!ical economics ,or ecolonomics- may over time become a dominant rat er t an eterodo% intellect"al paradi!m. 8e may see a switc t at is as profo"nd as t e ori!inal division of labo"r analysed by $dam .mit wit a division of labo"r between "man bein!s and comp"ters, as disc"ssed by +rank 5evy and 0ic ard A"rname, ;T e New 'ivision of 5abo"r> ,344E-, wit "s specialisin! in tasks t at mars all t e specific "man co!nitive capacity for pattern reco!nition and comp"ters specialisin! ever f"rt er in tasks t at can be boiled down to r"les and al!orit ms. 6erbert .imon, ;T e 9orporation= 8ill It <e Aana!ed by Aac inesO> ,19G4- may be proved ri! t in t at t e tra/ectory of "man labo"r may be more and more into tasks t at involve face7to7face "man interaction, a process t at as already been witnessed over t e co"rse of decades t ro"! t e rise of t e tertiary and #"aternary sectors of t e economy – in a sense a parado%ical concl"sion, !iven certain fears over t e idea t at comp"terisation as led to !reater alienation, anomie, enn"i, or
as ar!"in! t at ;in every ind"strial revol"tion, some key factor of prod"ction is drastically red"ced in cost. 0elative to t e previo"s cost to ac ieve t at f"nction, t e new factor is virt"ally free.> 1ilder ar!"es t at d"e to steam, p ysical force in t e Ind"strial 0evol"tion became virt"ally free compared to animal or "man m"scle power. $nderson ar!"es t at t e triple play of improved processors, bandwidt and stora!e is allowin! an economy of bits rat er t an atoms to trend towards t e free in t e era of t e 'di!itisation of everyt in!'. +or $nderson, t ere are today two markets= free and everyt in! else ,wit some forms e%istin! alon! t e spectr"m somew ere, s"c as 5ibraryT in!'s +reemi"m model-, and e cites 8 arton professor (artik 6osana!ar t at ;t e demand yo" !et at a price of +ero is many times i! er t an t e demand yo" !et at a very low price. ."ddenly, t e demand s ots "p in a nonlinear fas ion.> ,p.F4-. Economics as a w ole, let alone micro7concepts s"c as t e ma%imisation of "tility , price elasticity or t e e#"ilibri"m between demand and s"pply c"rves, is simply not t e same in t e era of bit freeconomics and t e viral potential of free !oods, services and ideas. In a sense, t e )ero is t e infinite, since somet in! t at is released at )ero cost in a di!ital form can be clicked on or copied, in essence, at least a potentially infinite n"mber of times ,and copyin! itself as close to )ero mar!inal costs of reprod"ction-. 6ere t e free rider problem of traditional neo7classical economics is transformed into a free rider sol"tion, wit t e emer!ence of t e s"perfans described by Nic olas 5ovell, ;T e 9"rve= +rom +reeloaders into ."perfans= T e +"t"re of <"siness> ,341:- for w om free content is t e basic startin! point in t e relations ip wit t ose w o created it. 6e sees t e era of di!ital content as bein! an a!e t at is freed from t e scarcity of t e era of ;t e tyranny of t e p ysical>. In anot er an!le on t e #"estion, 0ic ard 5an am, ;T e Economics of $ttention= .tyle and ."bstance in t e $!e of Information> ,344G- sees t e #"estion as one of yper7ab"ndance of information b"t w ere t e scarcity involved is o"r attention to absorb and work wit t at information. 6ere, style becomes paramo"nt in elpin! to si!npost w ere o"r limited and scarce attention s o"ld be apportioned. 'an $riely, ;2redictably Irrational> ,344?- ar!"es t at )ero cost is not /"st anot er price b"t is instead ;an emotional ot b"tton – a so"rce of irrational e%citement.> .ome people mi! t prefer to refine t at to rational e%citement, wit res"ltant rational e%"berance. It wo"ld certainly be a so"rce of rational e%citement and e%"berance if free access to reso"rces on, say, &o ann <essler's or @iktor .c a"ber!er's desi!ns ,wit free access to reso"rces on t eir s ortcomin!s and ways t ey co"ld ave been improved- led to t e development of free ener!y.

a lowerin! of t e kind of empat y t at is one of t e basic fo"ndations of "manity itself, as e%plored by +rans de 8aal. In t at sense, s o"ld we c oose to make it so, we mi! t in fact see t e advancement of an $!e of Empat y rat er t an its dimin"tion 143. $fter all, in transactional analysis terms, t e di!ital a!e provides "s wit ama)in! opport"nities for empat etic brid!e7b"ildin! – somebody in 5ondon can empat etically en!a!e in a disco"rse over t e "se of asymmetric patterns in a Yo"T"be video of t e work of composer Aorton +eldman wit somebody in <o!ota or <loemfontein. .imon's insi! t into t e importance and relative scarcity of attention in an a!e of information yper7ab"ndance also s"!!ests t at many professions and careers may pivot on elpin! people to navi!ate information and to foc"s concentration and attention on w at is essential and not w at is perip eral= it may be t at !"r"s and !"ides of bot attention and empat y become important as t"tors and mentors not only in traditional instit"tional settin!s s"c as "niversities b"t also on more informal and a!ile bases. T omas 'avenport and &o n <eck, ;T e $ttention Economy= *nderstandin! t e New 9"rrency of <"siness> ,3443, p.E- p"t forward t e view t at attention is itself akin to t e most important c"rrency ,in an era of ever more c"rrency systems-, pointin! o"t t at in 1EC3 t e best "niversity library in t e world, at B"een's 9olle!e in 9ambrid!e, o"sed only 199 books. Today we can access millions and millions of ebooks at t e drop of a yperlink. In s"c a conte%t, t e e%istence of 'attention p ilant ropy', in t e terminolo!y of $le% .teffen, becomes cr"cially important. $n e%ample ere as been t e 8orldc an!in! attention p ilant ropy pro/ect w ic as aimed to i! li! t certain voices and ideas and "se t e power of networks to elp spread and disperse t em as widely as possible. In partic"lar, e cites .tewart <rand's 19C1 ;'estination79risis> paper w ic stressed t e importance of people wit t e co"ra!e and tenacity to cross disciplines and fields 7 ;people w o we mi! t call circuit riders>14:. T e ability to make connections between different t eoretical and practical fields is more of a c allen!e !iven t e e%plosion of information t at means t at t ere is an ocean of dept to eac field itself. 6olistic t inkin! is, per aps, more important t an ever, and t ose w o practice it s o"ld per aps be !iven t e re#"isite attention for t eir efforts. .teffen also p"ts forward t e idea of attention conservation, w ere people's attention is !"ided towards t at w ic tr"ly matters and away from t e siren calls of ideas and disco"rses t at are "nimportant or falsely inflated. Dne day we may even "nderstand precisely ow spider silk is created and even be able to replicate its e%traordinary stren!t , w ic is, wei! t for wei! t, five times as stron! as piano wire14E. 0eadin! may be altered entirely as an activity, wit pro/ects s"c as AIT's Aedia 5ab's .ensory +iction attemptin! to e%pand t e ori)ons of literat"re to one t at involves emotion translated into p ysical sensation. &onat on 2orritt may be ri! t in ar!"in! t at t ere co"ld be a vast rise in t e role of < corporations – or!anisations t at want to make profits, b"t to do so wit a !reater consideration of social and environmental impacts and benefits in t eir decision7makin!. T e lon!7term !ender imbalance in t e field of contraception may be overt"rnedH as Nelly D"ds oorn, ;T e Aale 2ill= $ <io!rap y of a Tec nolo!y in t e Aakin!> ,344:, p.G- p"ts it, t ere ave been t irteen new met ods of contraception for women since t e .econd 8orld 8ar and none for men in t e 34 cent"ry as a w ole. T e t ree or more decade7lon! disc"ssion and eraldin! of a male e#"ivalent to t e female contraceptive pill may lead at some sta!e to its realisation. +emale contraception may c an!e as well, wit work by t e *niversity of 8as in!ton "sin! electrospinnin! to create a female condom t at delivers an anti76I@ dr"!, prevents pre!nancy and t en dissolves and disappearst .
143 0oman (r)naric, ;Empat y= $ 6andbook for 0evol"tion> ,341E- calls for an empat y revol"tion. Dne day we may see a network of empat y m"se"ms aro"nd t e world. 14: 6assan Aas"m and Aark Tovey, ;T e 0ep"tation .ociety> ,3411, pp.947:14E In 341: researc ers at $ri)ona .tate *niversity's 'epartment of 9 emistry and <ioc emistry made a breakt ro"! in terms of "nderstandin! t e constr"ction of spider's silk by "sin! t e <rillo"in li! t scatterin! tec ni#"e wit a low power laser of less t an :.F milliwatts. t $nnalee Newit),, F 'ecember 3413

$ lon!7term process of !lobalisation may transform and modify itself into a world of !localisation – w ere t ere is a f"sion of t e !lobalisin! processes t at ave led to a '!lobal villa!e' on t e one and wit ever !reater re7localisation of ener!y, activity and reso"rces on t e ot er and14F. $ lar!e n"mber of e%amples e%ist w ere s"c processes are at work, partic"larly in t e sp ere of w at is described as bein! ' yperlocal' sites= one e%ample is t at of t e website .ee9lick+i%, w ere people can post "p information abo"t problems in t eir local comm"nities ,s"c as blocked cycle lanes or pot oles-, incl"din! "ploadin! pictorial and video doc"mentation, and t en "se t e information to elp !et t ose problems fi%ed. In certain cases t ese notifications ave been passed to local !overnment, elpin! to facilitate a dialo!"e between citi)ens and officials to elp foster t eir local environs. $ similar dynamic operates in t e form of Aeet*p or +o"rs#"are w ere t e !lobalisin! and deterritorialisin! nat"re of t e internet is "sed to elp meetin!s in reality, representin! anot er translation and transf"sion of t e world of bits into t e world of atoms. T e world may also be balanced in a very different way in terms of economic vitality, wit $sia per aps acco"ntin! for alf of t e world economy by 34F4 /"st as it did in 1?34 and for cent"ries before t at14G ,9NN's +areed Pakaria ar!"es t at 9 ina as lifted E44 million people o"t of poverty in t irty years, and compressed t e 8est's ind"strialisation t at took two "ndred years into t ose t ree decades- T e world may be emp atically m"ltipolar wit o"t partic"lar !eo!rap ical areas or territories bein! e!emonic14C. $ i! speed rail renaissance may lead to an interconnectedness between, say, 9 ina and E"rope beyond t e wildest of Aarco 2olo's dreams ,ass"min! t at a 31 cent"ry Aarco 2olo was not too b"sy readin! articles at t e Aarco 2olo 2ro/ect to even be!in t inkin! abo"t transport systems-. <y 3144 $frica may ave one t ird of t e world's pop"lationst ,wit Ni!eria per aps avin! a i! er pop"lation t an t e *.$ in 34F4-, raisin! deep #"estions over ine#"ality of material reso"rces14? and opport"nity, partic"larly !iven t e le!acy of nineteent cent"ry colonisation of t e continent by E"ropean powers and t e still bitter le!acy of t e slave trade149. T e entire #"estion of a s ift to a post7fossil f"el economy is also complicated by t e imbalances t at we bro"! t into t e 31 cent"ry= t e 19.F million residents of New York state cons"me t e same amo"nt of electricity as t e C91 million people in s"b7.a aran $frica, for e%amplest. 0aisin! t e material standards of t e world to t at +irst 8orld model will accelerate t e demands on ener!y s"pplies and environmental reso"rces to levels t at overw elmin!ly dwarf t e pre7e%istin! a!!re!ate today. $s correctives to t ese imbalances, we may c oose to brin! more of a spirit level to t e material distrib"tion wit in o"r societies ,on t e basis of t e perceived ma%imisation of overall appiness and welfare as a res"lt- 114, and may ave fo"nd f"ndamental sol"tions to t e twin problems of affl"en)a and povertitis 111. If an or!anisation s"c as 8ater.or! !et t eir way, we may see everybody in t e world wit access to safe water and sanitation wit in o"r own lifetimes. 8e may see advances in t e knowled!e of elements 113, of s"batomic particles s"c as t e
14F T e sociolo!ist 0oland 0obertson, w o created t e term, describes a sit"ation involvin! t e ;co7presence...of bot "niversalisin! and partic"larisin! tendencies.> 14G 5a)a (ekic, The )conomist, ;Ae!ac an!e= T e 8orld in 34F4> ,3413-. 14C *nless, of co"rse, power and infl"ence s ift towards partic"lar !eo!rap ical areas, s"c as 0"ssia, $laska, 9anada and .candinavia as foressen in 5a"rence .mit , ;T e New Nort > ,3413st 9 arles 0obertson, ;T e +astest <illion> ,341314? 2artic"larly !iven t e report by D%fam International in 341E t at t e ric est 1L of t e world pop"lation own EGL of !lobal wealt . 149 T e revivified concept of slavery is interestin! in t e conte%t of t e mac ines of t e oil7based ind"strial era t at work for "sH 'onella Aeadows, for instance, saw erself as a kind of slave7owner w en s e considered t at s e b"rned "p to :4 barrels of oil a year to !et er work done, as disc"ssed by $ndrew Nikifor"k, ;T e Ener!y of .laves= Dil and t e New .ervit"de> ,341Est Aark 5ynas, ;N"clear 3.4> ,341:114 0ic ard 8ilkinson and (ate 2ickett, ;T e .pirit 5evel= 8 y E#"ality is <etter for Everyone> ,3414-. 111 'isc"ssed by $s ok ( osla in 6erbert 1irardet and Ai!"el Aendonca, ;$ 0enewable 8orld= Ener!y, Ecolo!y, E#"ality> ,3414-. 113 $ recent e%ample, at t e time of writin!, is t e presentation in 341: of new evidence for t e e%istence of an

6i!!s <oson ,discovered in &"ly 3413-11: and materials ,s"c as !rap ene or carbyne- t at res ape everyt in! from e%perimentation to man"fact"rin!, as well as developments t at are as transformative as, say, t e <essemer process t at elped lead to t e mass prod"ction of steel. If pro/ects s"c as t ose "sin! t e Nanoscribe :' printer overseen by &ens <a"er at t e (arlsr" e Instit"te of Tec nolo!y come to fr"ition, we may see materials t at are sim"ltaneo"sly li! ter t an water and stron!er t an steel., a start"p connected to AIT's Aedia 5ab, may make :' printin! as "bi#"ito"s and easy as Insta!ram. B"ant"m mec anics and relativity t eory may be s"ccessf"lly reconciled and "nified. $fter t e #"estionable res"lts of e%periments by t e Dpera !ro"p at t e 1ran .asso "nder!ro"nd laboratory in Italy in 3411, we may discover particles t at move faster t an t e speed of li! t. $dvances in #"ant"m teleportation may lead to fascinatin! practical applications. 8e may see profo"nd advances in o"r "nderstandin! of )ones and realms t at lie at t e frontiers of o"r c"rrent "nderstandin! of t e nat"re of e%istence and t e "niverse, for e%ample in t e re!ions in remote parts of t e "niverse w ere, from o"r point of view, space e%pands faster t an t e speed of li! t11E. $ si!nificant proportion of o"r electricity may be made from sewa!e or we may "se bacteria !asoline11F. @irt"al reality and a"!mented reality may take vast strides beyond t e Dc"l"s 0ift t at, combined wit pro/ects s"c as t e .mit sonian I:', may completely res ape t e way t at we visit p"blic instit"tions s"c as m"se"ms. $s well as an a!e of discovery in terms of knowled!e of ow t e o"ter world works, we may also see an a!e of e%ponential increase in inventions 11G t at rivals or even eclipses t e spinnin! /enny, steam en!ine, cotton !in, steel, railways, and division of labo"r of t e Ind"strial 0evol"tion. 2rocesses t at ave remained so far in t e realm of fantasy writin! or science fiction may become possible and even everyday, s"c as telepat y, psyc okinesis, invisibility, force fields, yperspace travel and travel t ro"! worm oles. +ilm critic Aark (ermode mi! t even become evan!elistic abo"t t e merits of :' cinema ,or even E' cinemaat some point in t is cent"ry. 5ondon radio station 0esonance +A mi! t start broadcastin! "sin! not in! b"t 0"pert . eldrake's morp ic resonances. N"clear ener!y may be based on micro7 f"sion and t ori"m11C rat er t an "rani"m ,"nless we decide collectively to avoid t at pat and !o completely down t e pat of renewables-. Time will tell 11? w at t e tra/ectory of t is cent"ry will be, and a !reat deal depends "pon t e c oices 119 t at we make, bot collectively and individ"ally,
"ncofirmed element wit atomic n"mber 11F at t e 1.I researc facility in 1ermany w ic as previo"sly discovered si% ot er new elements 7 9opernici"m ,atomic n"mber 113-, 0oent!eni"m ,111-, 'armstadti"m ,114-, Aeitneri"m ,149-, 6assi"m ,14?- and <o ri"m ,14C-. 11: &on .c iller, ;6i!!s <oson 2article and Impact on 9osmolo!y> cites a scientist w o s"!!ests t at t e discovery of t e 6i!!s boson mi! t be as si!nificant as t e Newtonian creation of t e basic e#"ations of mec anics t at elped make t e Ind"strial 0evol"tion possible. Its discovery completed t e .tandard Aodel, t e c"rrent t eory on w at makes all visible matter aro"nd "s ,w ic is appro%imately FL of t e total content of t e "niverse-. 11E 6elm"t .at), ;*ltimate 6ori)ons= 2robin! t e 5imits of t e *niverse> ,341E11F &o n 0"bino, ;9lean Aoney= 2ickin! 8inners n t e 1reen Tec <oom> ,344?-. 11G $n e%ample is t e crystal c ip t at creates electricity w en press"re is applied to it t at was invented by t e (enyan $nt ony A"t"a in 3413. $not er is 9ynt ia (oeni!'s 8ello water w eel. 11C T ori"m, w ic is t ree times as ab"ndant as "rani"m, mi! t t"rn o"t to be safer t an "rani"m, bot in terms of potential reponses to +"k"s ima7style problems and in terms of t e propa!ation of n"clear waste, and also not linked in t e same way to t e development of n"clear weaponry. T is is certainly t e view of 0ic ard Aartin, ;."perf"el> ,3413- or 0ic ard 6ar!reaves, ;T ori"m> ,3413-. 11? $s 6arold Innis, ;T e <ias of 9omm"nication> ,19F1- noted, periods w ere t ere are swin!s and s ifts in media systems lead to comple% intellect"al times w ere it is diffic"lt to acc"rately predict w at will transpire in t e f"t"re and w at will not. 119 Dne central c oice, as disc"ssed by Tim 8", ;T e Aaster .witc > ,3414- is t e #"estion of keepin! t e internet as open as possible and t e need to preserve network ne"trality. $not er is w at we "se it for= somet in! in t e order of ?4L of email is /"nk mail rat er t an mail t at advances o"r skills or knowled!e to a new level. +inally, t ere are ever more e%act and well #"antified systems s"c as $le%a pa!e rankin!s w ic s ow w at vol"me of traffic certain websites ave, embodyin! at a #"antitative level w at information fields we as a collective "manity are drawn to t e most. D"r f"t"re pat ways are based in lar!e part on t ose prioritisations, arisin! from t e debates and disco"rses t at we ave abo"t w at matters t e most, and, implicitly, w at doesn't.

and t e e%tent to w ic we balance a work et ic on t e one and wit t e spirit of play ,in, for e%ample, &o an 6"i)in!a's concept of ,omo Ludens or in t e very serio"s, b"t at t e same time en/oyable <"ckminster +"ller idea of a 8orld 1ame- t at is a central animatin! essence of creativity on t e ot er134. $ f"rt er cr"cial element is t e c oice over t e facilitation of t e free flow of information and ideas= 2ierre 5evy, for e%ample, contrasts t e lon!7term le!acy of t e decision in 9 ina to ban t e early innovations in printin! wit t eir relative liberty cent"ries later in E"rope. T e spirit of play is partic"larly important, and as serio"s as well as frivolo"s ramifications in t e era of !amification131 ,a term invented by Nick 2ellin! in 3443 w ic means t e "se of !ame mec anics or !ame t inkin! to solve problems in non7!ame conte%ts-. Dne key e%ample ere is a tool s"c as Aaker 9ities la"nc ed by t e Instit"te for t e +"t"re, w ic employs t e power of crowd wisdom to !enerate predictions abo"t t e f"t"re and in partic"lar ow t e maker movement will transform society at lar!e. In t e political sp ere t e !ame $ +orce Aore 2owerf"l enco"ra!es non7violent opposition to re!imes t at are totalitarian or a"tocratic. $ bo"nteo"s n"mber of !ames w ic operate "sin! citi)en science to advance scientific knowled!e are a!!re!ated to!et er by .ci.tarter. 8e may even one day reac a point w ere s"c tedio"s di"rnal and .isyp ean tasks as ta% ret"rns133 are e%ec"ted in some way t ro"! !ame processes t at make t em seem at least moderately en/oyable – after all, many and elds make li! t work. Dne of t e !reat parado%es of o"r addiction to !ames is t e fact t at certain m"ndane or repetitive tasks or movements can seem i! ly en/oyable w en part of an overall !ame arc itect"re w ereas e%tracted from t e !ame conte%t we wo"ld probably concept"alise t em as bein! incredibly d"ll and enervatin!. $fter all, f"n is an incredibly motivatin! part of all activity 13:, and is an inte!ral part of t e kind of flow e%perience t at Ai aly 9siks)entmi alyi describes as ;optimal e%perience> 7 t e kind of e%perience w ere we become yper7aware of t e relativity of time ,and, indeed, yper7"naware of time itselfand li! t years seem to pass in mere seconds. Dne does not need to know t e most abstr"ce elements of !ame t eory to reco!nise t at !amin! is a "!ely motivatin! part of "man c"lt"re and activity – and it can be mars alled for a wide variety of p"rposes t at can elp lead to advancements, pro!ressions and paradi!m s ifts ,as well as in t e sp ere of datin!, w et er online or offline, as e%plored by *ri <ram-. 8 atever calendar system we "se, we are now t erefore at a crossroads and an inflection point in "man istory. 2er aps one co"ld ar!"e t at istory itself is a contin"al caro"sel of inflection points openin! "p vastly diver!ent pat ways and tra/ectories t at we can c oose, so lon! as we ave free will rat er t an livin! in a deterministic fas ion, for better or worse. 6owever, !iven t e nat"re of t e post71"tenber!ian transitions t at we are livin! t ro"! , we face ma/or and f"ndamental c oices abo"t ow we "se o"r reso"rces and apply o"r ener!ies – and w at kind of world we create for o"rselves. T e ma/or #"estion is not only w at kind of world we create today, b"t w at kind of world we pass on to o"r descendents13E. T e s"n, w ic is appro%imately E.G billion years old, is pro/ected to be!in r"nnin! o"t of ydro!en in its core in abo"t G billion years'
134 1ore @idal, ;*nited .tates> ,3441- pointed o"t t at ;No one today can predict w at !ames post71"tenber! man will want to play.> 131 $ndr)e/ Aarc)ewski, ;1amification= $ .imple Introd"ction and a bit more> ,341:- cites 1artner researc pro/ectin! t at by by 341F E4L of 1lobal 1444 or!anisations will "se !amification as t eir primary mec anism to transform b"siness operations. 133 $lbert 9am"s ad it t at we m"st ima!ine .isyp "s appy. It mi! t be t e case t at t e only time we "mans are tr"ly appy wit .isyp ean motions and tasks is w en we're playin! !ames. 13: $s e%plored, for instance, in 0ap (oster, ;T eory of +"n for 1ame 'esi!n> ,344E13E $ccordin! to t e 1reat 5aw of t e Iro#"ois, we ave to consider t e effects of o"r actions on t ose w o come seven !enerations after "s. T is raises t e #"estion= is it possible for "s to alter o"r t inkin! so t at we consider !enerations even f"rt er beyond "s, per aps f"rt er beyond t e bo"ndaries of t e 344,444 or so years t at omo sapiens as e%istedO 9o"ld we, for instance, alter o"r be avio"r so t at we consider f"t"re descendents w o ave to deal wit t e problem of t e s"n no lon!er e%istin!, or is s"c a lon! time period beyond t e scope and realm of "man co!nition and "man nat"re itselfO

time, enterin! t e red !iant sta!e of its evol"tion and be!innin! t e process of its event"al deat 13F. <y t at point in time, eit er "man istory may ave already ended lon! before or, alternatively, we may ave reac ed a sta!e w ere we are able to ne!otiate t e c allen!e to o"r life presented by t e deat of t e s"n, possibly by avin! colonies in different parts of t e "niverse. T at is all a lon! way away from o"r lives at t e moment, and t e timescales involved dwarf t e brief period t at omo sapiens as e%isted as a species, and even f"rt er t an t e spec"lations of, say, 9 arles 1alton 'arwin, ;T e Ne%t Aillion Years> ,19F3- or t e 144,444 years analysed by 0o!er7Aa"rice <onnet and 5odewyk 8olt/er ,3414-. 6owever, one of t e primary tasks of t e "man bein!s alive in t e twenty first cent"ry is to ens"re t at we pass on a s"stainable life to t e !enerations t at follow "s, some of w om may ave to ne!otiate c allen!es beyond t ose t at we face. Ne%t to t e deat of t e s"n, a lot of ot er problems do not, per aps, seem ins"rmo"ntable. Improvin! t e #"ality and #"antity of o"r solar panels and p otovoltaic tec nolo!y in t e conte%t of a solar infl"% of 1CE petawatts 13G, t e e%istence of .wanson's law and t e power of 1eor!e 1ilder's 'fibersp ere' or .elmer <rin!s/ord's ' ypercomp"tation', for instance, pales into insi!nificance relative to t e task of ne!otiatin! ow we e%ist wit o"t s"nli! t at all ,an embodiment of t e !reat Aayan fear of u chibal #-in, t e Mswallowin! "p of t e s"nN-13C. $n analyst of civilisation like (ennet 9lark wo"ld obvio"sly ave to reconsider t e entire concept of a ''ark $!e' if o"r "niverse ever reac es a point w ere all matter as collapsed into black oles – a possible landmark in t e timeline of t e far f"t"re. <eyond t e #"estion of t e c allen!es t at we face, and t e sol"tions t at we en!ineer t at resolve t em, t ere is t e wider #"estion not only of o"r overall lon!evity as a species b"t also of t e potential for t e e%tension of o"r capacity for lon!7term t inkin!. Dne of t e possible positive o"tcomes from t e
.ee, for instance, +raser 9ain, ;5ife of t e ."n>, 14t Aarc 3413 2eter 'iamandis and .teven (otler, ;$b"ndance= T e +"t"re is <etter T an Yo" T ink> ,3413, p.G- point o"t t at t e 1CE petawatts fi!"re dwarfs t e 1G terawatts per year cons"med by "manity by a factor of aro"nd five t o"sand times. $not er way of encaps"latin! t e sit"ation is t e description by 'anny (ennedy, ;0ooftop 0evol"tion> ,3413, p.11- w ere e states t at ;t e ener!y potential in 34 days of s"ns ine fallin! on Eart is t e same as t at of all t e coal, oil and nat"ral !as known to "mans>. 6e s"!!ests t at we may be in t e era of t e .olar $scent. If we did s"ccessf"lly mana!e s"c an ascent, we mi! t !et close to bein! t e kind of Type I civilisation envisa!ed by t e 0"ssian astrop ysicist Nicolai (ardas ev in t e 19G4s. &or!an 0anders, ;34F3= $ 1lobal +orecast for t e Ne%t +orty Years> ,3413, p.31- points o"t t at t e cost of solar panels since 19CF as dropped to one "ndredt of w at it was. Eicke 8eber, director of t e +ra"n ofer Instit"te for .olar Ener!y .ystems in +reib"r!, 1ermany, believes t at it wo"ld be possible to ave an ener!y economy based on F4L solar ener!y by 34F4. Pac ary . a an observes t at !lobal solar 2@ capacity is !rowin! e%ponentially from abo"t 3.3 18 in 3443 to 144 18 in 3413. (iley (ro reported at 9limate 2ro!ress on 3nd &an"ary 341E t at 9alifornia installed more rooftop solar in 341: t an in t e previo"s :4 years combined. New advances s"c as t e development of pervoskite7based solar cells are improvin! efficiency. .olar ener!y is at t e eart of t e analysis of +reeman 'yson, ;T e s"n, t e !enome and t e Internet> ,1999-. Even an event"al 144L renewable sit"ation is envisa!ed in 6ermann .c eer, ;T e Ener!y Imperative= 144L 0enewable Now> ,3411- and in t e 1erman Ener!iewende or Ener!y 2at t at aims to make 1ermany 144L renewable by 34F4. 8e may witness an invention or n"mber of t em t at f"ndamentally alter solar ener!y provision in t e way t at t e microc ip f"ndamentally altered comp"tin! and lead to a clean and s"stainable ener!y system t at mi! t look, in retrospect, to ave been inevitable. In &an"ary 341E, for instance, t ere was news from 6arvard *niversity's D2EN 3413 pro!ramme re!ardin! t e development of a new flow battery based on molec"les called #"inones t at co"ld elp make renewable ener!y m"c more efficient by storin! lar!e amo"nts of electrical ener!y. $not er frontier of e%ploration ere is t e marria!e of space e%ploration and solar ener!y wit t e development of space7based solar power ,.<.2- partic"larly t ro"! t e efforts of a!encies s"c as t e &apan $erospace E%ploration $!ency ,&$I$and N$.$. +"rt ermore, /"st as t e oil a!e ad prod"cts s"c as plastics, so a solar a!e mi! t ave all sorts of prod"cts accr"in! from it , opef"lly rat er more s"stainable t an plastic, !iven t at it is 144L nonbiode!radable – an area for f"t"re inventions t at bypass t at nonbiode!radability and find sol"tions to it-. Dne wonders #"ite ow widely disseminated a .olar 9oin wo"ld be. +or ad erents of t e solar f"t"re in partic"lar, t e early 31st cent"ry resembles a c ess problem of t e 'solar re%' variety, only wit t e 'solaris re%' ,or kin! solar- waitin! to attain its c eckmate, rat er t an be c eckmated. 13C 'ieter <roers and 0obert N"sba"m, ;.olar 0evol"tion= 8 y Aankind is on t e 9"sp of an Evol"tionary 5eap> ,3413-. 13F 13G

s ift from t e a!e of t e printed pa!e to t e a!e of t e screen ,or t e s ift, in 0ic ard 5an am's terminolo!y, to t e a!e of t e ;electronic word>13?- is t e e%tension of o"r mental ori)ons, allowin! "s !reater access to information t at e%pands o"r knowled!e of o"r deeper istory and, by e%tension, o"r deeper f"t"res. .omebody wit open access to vast n"mbers of tracts and doc"ments relatin! to lon! !eolo!ical eras does not ave t e same conscio"sness as somebody in, say, t e seventeent cent"ry for w om s"c information did not easily e%ist or e%ist at all. $!ain we ave been t ro"! a process w ic is analo!o"s to 9opernicanism in terms of t e decentrin! of t e importance of t e present moment139. $s &.5..c ellenber! p"ts it, ;+or all we know, "man en#"iry on o"r planet is still in its infancy.>1:4 It is profo"ndly c allen!in! to a narrow, "man7centric worldview to compre end t at 99.9GL of t e istory of t e "niverse occ"rred before t e emer!ence of t e first ominids, let alone t e first "man bein!s, and t at we emer!ed in t e first place after at least 3F forms of proto7 "man bein!s – as disc"ssed in 1ary .awyer and @iktor 'eak, ;T e 5ast 6"man= $ 1"ide to Twenty Two .pecies of E%tinct 6"mans> ,344C-. $!ain, s o"ld we s"rvive into t e lon!7 term and avoid catastrop ic o"tcomes, it is also interestin! to consider w at potential forms of evol"tion mi! t occ"r and t e ways in w ic t ey mi! t lead to a res apin! of t e "man bein! itself. &"an Enri#"e) envisa!es a s ift to anot er kind of "man bein!, t e '6omo evol"tis', w ose form and manifestation is not yet clear b"t may be as different from 6omo sapiens as t e latter was from Neandert als, 'enisova man or 6omo +loresiensis ,a non7Toklienian '6obbit'-. T ere is, t erefore, an "r!ent need for t e establis ment of in!rained patterns of lon!7term t inkin! into bot o"r individ"al conscio"sness and also into t e way t at or!anisations and instit"tions confi!"re t eir p ilosop ies and plans of action. T e scenario t inkin! pioneered by t e 0and 9orporation as come a lon! way over t e co"rse of decades, b"t as f"rt er to !o. T ere ave even been specific proposals and meas"res to attempt to cement s"c t inkin!, and deepen and e%tend w at t e psyc olo!ist Tom 5ombardo refers to as t e capacity for 'f"t"re conscio"sness', s"c as t e idea prod"ced by 1eor!e Aonbiot and Aatt ew 2rescott to create a '1447year committee' t at a"dits parliamentary decisions on t e basis of t e impact of policies not only wit in a parliamentary time frame of fo"r or five years, b"t instead in "p to one "ndred years' time. T e +"t"re &"stice 9ommission ina"!"rated by t e 8orld +"t"re 9o"ncil also p"t forward t e idea of specific Dmb"dspersons w ose roles wo"ld be to a"dit policies on t e basis of t eir effect on f"t"re !enerations. T ey mi! t not be able to a"dit 14 #"adrillion years a ead 1:1, b"t s"c instit"tional c an!es mi! t reap benefits and elp ward off t e inevitable s ort7termism t at is an aspect ,b"t only one- of o"r nat"re. 2redicaments, crises, catastrop es, problems and c allen!es are to an e%tent, t erefore, relative. $ !reat deal of t is process is f"ndamentally a mental one= w ile it is not c"rrently easy to climb Everest, it as certainly been a !reat deal easier after t e con#"est not only of t e mo"ntain b"t also t e abstract concept of climbin! Everest itself by 6illary and Ten)in! Nor!ay in 19F:. 9o"pled wit an awareness of realities, an optimistic attit"de and mental framework is a necessary prere#"isite of every advancement. It may even be t e case t at s"c optimism,
13? 139 199: Df co"rse, all sorts of p ilosop ies from <"dd ism to mindf"lness stress t e importance of t e present moment in terms of t e way t at we live o"r lives ,or per aps w at .t.2a"l called t e 'n"nc stans' or eternal present- b"t at t e same time we are now aware in different ways from previo"s c"lt"res of t e dept s of t e processes and developments in t e past fo"rteen billion years ,at least- of t e istory of t e "niverse and t e past fo"r billion of o"r planet. Dn t e #"estion of livin! in t e present moment, per aps t e work of someone s"c as &o n 9a!e co"ld be seen as preparin! "s for an a!e of information e%pansion t at re#"ires more precise and metic"lo"s attention and concentration in order to pick o"t t e si!nal from t e noise ,in Nate .ilver's terminolo!y-, wit t e e%ample of is efforts to !et "s to pay close attention to t e so"nds of t e present moment aro"nd "s rat er t an bein! distracted by t o"! ts t at isolate "s from t at present embodiment and reality. 1:4 &.5..c ellenber!, ;T e end is not near>, Aeon, 14t +ebr"ary 341E 1:1 $s e%plored, for instance, in <<9 +"t"re's Timeline of t e +ar +"t"re ,341E-.

ima!ination of different possible f"t"re scenarios, and desire to overcome c allen!es is ard7 wired1:3 into t e very essence and fabric of "manity itself. ."c an 'optimism bias' may be at t e eart of o"r appro%imately 344,444 year record of s"ccesses, ac ievements, advances and occasional follies, manias and errors1::. If s"c an optimism bias is part of o"r basic co!nitive and c"lt"re make7"p, owever, it may also e%ist in tandem wit t e kind of loss aversion demonstrated by $mos Tversky and 'aniel (a nemann, wit an in!rained and !eneral co!nitive bias towards approac in! risk on t e basis of preferrin! to avoid losses rat er t an makin! !ains 1:E. ."c a comple% mi%t"re of !eneral optimism and !eneral an%iety over loss may elp to e%plain a !reat deal not only abo"t o"r psyc olo!y b"t also abo"t t e way t at we make narratives and stories and ow t ose act as frameworks for t e practical actions t at we take in t e world. 8e raveno"sly seek new frontiers, b"t almost always wit a fear of losin! si! t of t e previo"s s ores alon! t e way. 2er aps t at bipolarity is an inte!ral part of t e "man condition 1:F. In partic"lar, o"r narratives are created in part t ro"! t e #"estions t at we ask – accordin! to (evin (elly, today we face a yper7 ab"ndance of answers and w at becomes scarce as a corollary are !reat #"estions. 1iven t is propensity to be concerned abo"t loss as m"c as motivated by !ain, o"r !reatest fear, rat er like t e sky fallin! in t at pla!"es $steri% and Dbeli%, is t at of t e end of o"r life and indeed life in !eneral on t is planet – a fear made more prono"nced by o"r ever e%pandin! knowled!e of #"ite ow special t e conditions ave been on Eart to allow life to !row and flo"ris in t e first place. T is is emp asised, for instance, in 'avid 8alt am, ;5"cky 2lanet= 8 y Eart is E%ceptional and 8 at T at Aeans for 5ife in t e *niverse> ,341E-. 8it o"t certain key factors – t e precise si)e and orbit of o"r moon, t e be!innin! of plate tectonics aro"nd two billion years a!o, or t e planet's ma!netic field ,preventin! "s from bein! eviscerated by solar wind- – we wo"ld probably not be ere at all. D"r !reatest fear is not only t at we e%perience a cataclysm t at ends o"r e%istence in a similar manner of t e dinosa"rs, b"t t at we mana!e to en!ineer t e conditions for o"r own demise t ro"! o"r own activity. D"r !reatest possibility is t at we protect o"r life and its lon!evity on o"r planet, and make it possible for it to !row and establis itself elsew ere too, and in conditions t at are less propitio"s1:G. Every sin!le ac ievement of "man istory as of co"rse been created in t e face of obstacles and resistances, some !reater, some lesser. If we are open and positive we may be able to ac ieve tr"ly awesome t in!s in t e ne%t cent"ry t at lay t e fo"ndations of lon! cent"ries of development a ead. T is is partic"larly t e case if we develop narratives t at sim"ltaneo"sly point
1:3 Tali . arot, ;T e Dptimism <ias= $ To"r of t e Irrationally 2ositive <rain> ,3413-. Df co"rse, t e #"estion of an optimism bias is also related to ot er factors, bot of nat"re and n"rt"re. $not er area of e%ploration and discovery in o"r knowled!e is t at of personality c aracterisation and typolo!y, wit t e development of systems s"c as t e ennea!ram. In t e &"n!ian ta%onomy, for e%ample, certain types s"c as E.T2s may be partic"larly prone to optimism. INT&s, of w ic I may per aps be one, may find it rat er more c allen!in! – "nless t ey ave constr"cted some sort of optimistic system or framework to work or t ink wit in. 1:: Ne"roscientific evidence ,provided, for e%ample, by 6arvard *niversity's 'aniel .c ac ter and 'onna $ddiss"!!ests t at o"r sense of t e f"t"re is closely related to o"r sense of t e past. If we see istory as, say, ;nasty, br"tis and s ort> or as t e re!ister of mankind's ;crimes, follies and misfort"nes> t en we are likely to see t e f"t"re as involvin! more of t e same. In contrast, a sense of past pro!ress may instil a correlated sense of potential or latent f"t"re pro!ressions. 1:E Dne of t e !reat desires of o"r times may be space civilisation, w ic is an "pside and potential !ain. $t t e same time, o"r !reatest fear is t e loss of o"r live and abitability on Eart . 1:F Aark Twain "r!ed "s to !o for it and seek t e new frontiers= ;Twenty years from now yo" will be more disappointed by t e t in!s t at yo" didn't do t an by t e ones yo" did do. .o t row off t e bowlines. .ail away from t e safe arbor. 9atc t e trade winds in yo"r sails. E%plore. 'ream. 'iscover.> In a similar vein, <arnett Newman saw art as an advent"re into an "nknown world – for t ose willin! to take t e risks. 1:G Df co"rse t ere are co"nter7views to t e 'rare eart ypot esis' associated wit 2eter 8ard and 'onald <rownlee, ;0are Eart = 8 y 9omple% 5ife is *ncommon in t e *niversse> ,3444-. $ccordin! to 0ene 6eller and &o n $rmstron!, ;."per abitable 8orlds> ,Astrobiolo.y, 341E- t ere may be planets t at are far better conditioned for life, s"c as ones w ere t e tectonic activity takes lon!er to appen and provides an environment t at is ore stable.

o"t problems and limitations b"t at t e same time ima!inatively provide answers 1:C. D"r world will also be optimised if we develop t e best possible forms of e%c an!e of ideas, conversations, disc"ssion and disco"rse, and balance t e twin processes of listenin! and talkin!. In doin! so, we can take advanta!e of t e invisible and of t e network, t e wisdom of crowds 1:? and, at t e same time, avoid w at 1arrett 6ardin described in 19G? as t e 'tra!edy of t e commons' and mars all w at 0.<"ckminster +"ller called 'livin!ry' rat er t an 'killin!ry' to en!ineer a better f"t"re for "s and o"r descendents1:9. T e information e%plosion1E4 provides "s wit a m"ltiplicity of tools= we can "se t ose tools for an ever vaster m"ltiplicity of p"rposes. In partic"lar, as Aark .tevenson notes, a !reat deal of o"r f"t"re depends on o"r narratives= ;one t in! I became very concerned abo"t is w en we talk abo"t t e f"t"re, we often talk abo"t it as dama!e and limitation e%ercise. T at needn't be t e case – it co"ld be a 0enaissance.> 1E1 8 en one considers t at anyone wit an internet connection can ave free access to di!itised versions of all t e doc"ments of t e 0enaissance1E3, as well as t ose of ancient 1reece and 0ome 1E: t at elped stim"late and crystallise it ,and t e e%tant doc"ments of all ot er ancient civilisations-, it is "nar!"ably t e case t at it wo"ld be e%tremely c allen!in! to try to e%plain to one's !randc ildren or !reat7!randc ildren precisely w y o"r c"lt"re ad not mana!ed to ens rine a 0enaissance of its own. $fter all, as +rancis 9ollins, ;T e 5an!"a!e of 5ife= 'N$ and t e 0evol"tion in 2ersonali)ed Aedicine> ,3414- p"ts it 7 ;wit o"t #"estion, man's knowled!e of man is "nder!oin! t e !reatest revol"tion since 5eonardo.>
1:C 6elen (eller, ;Dptimism> ,194:- differentiates between an optimism based on awareness of realities and a false optimism t at is a creed of positivity wit o"t t at awareness= ;Dptimism t at does not co"nt t e cost is like a o"se b"ilded on sand.> In a similar vein, t ere is t e observation by 0omain 0oland t at ;t e pessimism of t e mind does not e%cl"de t e optimism of t e will.> 1:? 0at er t an a simple optimism or pessimism, somebody s"c as 6ans 0oslin! describes imself as a 'possibilist'. 1:9 $ rat er similar distinction to 0iane Eisler's proposition of t e two modes of 'omination ,based on a foc"s on deat - and 2artners ip ,foc"sed on s"pportin! life-. 1E4 .omebody born today co"ld spend an entire lifetime cond"ctin! a st"dy constr"cted entirely on t e meta narrative e%plorin! t e narrative of information overload itself. Dne co"ld spend a f"ll workin! life today ,maybe "p to C4 years or lon!er, dependin! on o"r demo!rap y and o"r s iftin! sense of t e f"ll span of a workin! lifemerely e%plorin! w at kind of writin! t ere as been abo"t ow m"c writin! t ere as been. $llison 9avana! , ;.ociolo!y in t e $!e of t e Internet> ,344C, p.:- cites a st"dy w ic claims t at between 199C and 1999, at a relatively early period in t e evol"tion of t e web, t ere were 1F,444 websites and :,444 newspaper and ma!a)ine articles p"blis ed on t e s"b/ect of information overload itself. Dne interestin! perspective on t e matter is provided by 0ob Aatt ews w o, in 3413, printed o"t 4.41L of 8ikipedia ,E44V feat"re articles- as a F444 pa!e book. In 3413 it was estimated t at t ere were aro"nd :,??C,FG9 articles in total w ic is e#"ivalent to 1,G:?.G vol"mes of t e Encyclopedia <ritannica. T at is only in t e En!lis lan!"a!e of co"rse, for 8ikipedia is also a poly!lot's paradiseH as ."san Aeyer, ;&immy 8ales and 8ikipedia> ,3413, p.9- points o"t, at t e time of writin! it as articles in 3?3 lan!"a!es, from .anskrit to In"ktit"t. T ere ave of co"rse been many cases of people complainin! abo"t a certain amo"nt of false information on 8ikipedia b"t, on t e ot er side of t e e#"ation, Tyler 9owen, ;T e $!e of t e Infovore= ."cceedin! in t e Information Economy> ,3414- describes 8ikipedia as ;one of t e most impressive pro/ects of orderin! t at "man bein!s ave "ndertaken.> Dne day people may look at a pro/ect like 8ikipedia in t e way t at we mi! t today look at cat edrals, wonders of t e world or ot er masterpieces of past civilisations. $ccordin! to &ason Aerkoski, it is ;becomin! o"r c"lt"re's final te%tbook>. It will certainly be interestin! to observe ow t e encyclopedia evolves in t e f"t"re, wit a"!mentation s"c as t e pro/ect led by $ndy Aabbett to record a"dio from t ose w o ave 8ikipedia entries in order to add f"rt er c aracter and layers to t e site, w ic la"nc ed in 3413. 8ikipedia is one sol"tion to t e problem of ow we a!!re!ate information in t is era. $r!"ably a Twitter News +eed is anot er, as are b"r!eonin! sites s"c as .coop7 it, <"))feed, 5istverse, 0eddit, or 'i!!. $ tool s"c as Aedia!a)er aims to provide a di!est of cr"cially important news stories in a form t at is concise and condensed on to a sin!le pa!e. Aeanw ile, t e rise of listicles ,articles in t e form of lists- is a similar way of approac in! t e pra!matics of yper7ab"ndance. 1E1 B"oted by Aaria 2opova, ;C Essential <ooks on Dptimism> at <rain 2ickin!s.or!, 3411. 1E3 <yron 0eese, ;Infinite 2ro!ress> ,341:, pp.3G7C- p"ts it like t is= ;8e are s"itably impressed t at 'a @inci sketc ed a desi!n for a s"bmarine and a flyin! mac ine. <"t t e inventors of o"r a!e ave p"t a billion transistors on an area t e si)e of a posta!e stamp. 'o t ose two t in!s even compareO> 1E: +or e%ample, t e almost C4,444,444 words of 1reek and 0oman classical te%ts and t e almost ?,444,444 words of 0enaissance te%ts arc ived and freely available at t e 2erse"s 'i!ital 5ibrary ,amon!st ot ers-.

6e mi! t be ri! t, alt o"! an even more optimistic view mi! t s"!!est t at we are acceleratin! even faster in o"r knowled!e and "nderstandin! t an we were w en t e Teena!e A"tant Nin/a T"rtles first appeared. &"an Enri#"e) refers to t e potential of t e period as 't e 0enaissance, times a t o"sand'. 5"ciano +loridi, ;2 ilosop y and 9omp"tin!> ,3443, p.1:1- ar!"es t at it ;is diffic"lt to limit oneself always to t e same confined, epistemic space, if one can navi!ate so easily across t e disciplinary bo"ndaries. T is is one of t e reasons w y t e comp"ter a!e as also been described as a ret"rn of t e 0enaissance mind.> T ere are, t erefore, all t e in!redients for a lon!7term swerve into a new era, to "se t e terminolo!y of .tep en 1reenblatt, ;T e .werve= 6ow t e 8orld <ecame Aodern> ,3411$nybody wit an internet connection as free and open access to a te%t s"c as 5"creti"s's ;Dn t e Nat"re of T in!s> ,;'e rer"m nat"ra>- w ic was painstakin!ly rediscovered by 2o!!io <racciolini and was one important node in t e crystallisations and c emical reactions of ideas t at formed t e 0enaissance periodH t ey also ave direct access to di!itised versions of <racciolini's andwritin! ,w ic developed into t e 0oman typeface- or a work of is s"c as ;+acetiae>. None of "s need to #"est t ro"! libraries to "neart s"c te%ts – t ey are freely available at t e click of a mo"se or to"c of a tablet. . o"ld we c oose to do so, t erefore, we ave t e toolkits to create a swerve ,or m"ltiple swerves- into an era of istory wit interlinked elements of t e 0enaissance or t e Enli! tenment t at at t e time, or in retrospect, mi! t t"rn o"t to be a belle epo#"e – and avoid t e descent into a ''ark $!e' as depicted by &ane &acobs1EE. +ree access to t e reli!io"s, spirit"al, p ilosop ical and metap ysical te%ts of t e world's previo"s civilisations may elp to sp"r a c an!e in conscio"sness similar in some senses to t e perceived $%ial $!e ,spannin! ?447344 <9Eidentified by (arl &aspers, w o noted t e rise of fi!"res s"c as 9onf"ci"s, <"dd a and .ocrates in a similar time period, even if in markedly different social and c"lt"ral milie"%. +"rt ermore, if we follow t e concl"sions of Ian Aorris, ;8 y t e 8est 0"les – for Now= T e 2atterns of 6istory and w at t ey reveal abo"t t e +"t"re> ,3411-, we may see t e e%ponential tra/ectory of worldwide social development contin"e to increase. It mi! t be t e case t at we create w at co"ld be called t e $!e of Dpport"nity1EF or t e $!e of Dptimism. Dr, per aps, in a portmantea", t e $!e of Dptit"nity. Dr t e $!e of Dppormism. 2ict"re below= *. 9ens"s <"rea" data on world pop"lation from 14,444 <9 to 3414 $'. T is is a classic e%ample of e%ponential !rowt . .o"rce= 8ikipedia.1EG


6opef"lly we don't ave a dark a!e a ead of "s w ic is #"ite as dark as t e period aro"nd :?4,444 years after t e <i! <an! w ere stars ad not yet formed, as disc"ssed by Aic ael 'oser, ;$rc 3.1= E%it .trate!ies> ,341E1EF 2artic"larly for fans of t e Aars 0over Dpport"nity. 1EG T e !rap below is a relatively simple one. $not er of t e key developments t at we are likely to see in t e information a!e is ever more ima!inative forms of !rap ical representation of a!!re!ations of data. It is interestin! to consider t at entities as "bi#"ito"s as t e bar c art, pie c art and line !rap date back only to t e 1C44s wit t eir invention by 8illiam 2layfair. $n interestin! e%ample ere is 1oo!le's '<i! 2ict"re' vis"alisation !ro"p wit t eir '8ind AapW pro/ect created in 3413. $not er e%ample is t e word clo"d ,or ta! clo"d- w ic is "s"ally dated to t e work of .tewart <"tterfield in 344E. $ccordin! to 'avid Ac9andless, information is bea"tif"l. D"r desi!ners are blessed wit t e task of findin! ways to make its presentation ever more so.

In t e 0oman empire, all roads led to 0ome . Today, almost all t e ma/or #"estions of o"r social, political, economic and environmental lives pivot on t e relations ip between ab"ndance and scarcity or between yper7 ab"ndance and yper7scarcity. In partic"lar t ere are two diver!ent developments appenin! sim"ltaneo"sly= t e all7pervasive and "nprecedented ab"ndance of "man bein!s on t e planet at t e same time as t e profo"nd and marked contraction in t e n"mbers of a vast variety of different species. T is disparity, and its ramifications in terms of t e welfare and lon!evity of t e nat"ral world, raises t e overw elmin! #"estion of w et er or not "manity will c oose to make t is cent"ry t e ;era of restoration in ecolo!y> 1E? accordin! to t e dream of E.D.8ilson and manifest t e 's"stainable society' envisa!ed by 5ester <rown or t e 'restorative economy' described by 2a"l 6awken or t e 'steady state' economy foreseen by 6ermann 'aly. $ccordin! to &esse $"s"bel, director of t e 2ro!ram for t e 6"man Environment at 0ockerfeller *niversity, t e 31 cent"ry co"ld in fact become t e be!innin! of s"c a ;1reat 0estoration>. T is corresponds in many ways to t e concept of a s ift to an Eco)oic Era in T omas <erry, ;T e 1reat 8ork> ,1999, p.:- – a ;transition t at as no istorical parallel since t e !eobiolo!ical transition t at took place GC million years a!o w en t e period of t e dinosa"rs was terminated and a new biolo!ical a!e be!an.> In t is view, t e c an!e t at is re#"ired of "s is one t at involves a transition to a f"ndamentally different era from t at of t e 9eno)oic. $s t e inter!lacial 6olocene, a part of t e 9eno)oic w ic started aro"nd 11,C44 years a!o ,wit t e end of t e last Ice $!e, and only interr"pted in climactic terms by minor periods s"c as t e '5ittle Ice $!e' between aro"nd 1344 and 1C44-, as !iven way to t e $nt ropocene we face t e c allen!e of makin! decisions t at lead to balance and lon!evity rat er t an instability and volatility. In t at sense, .tanley Aana an's perspective is t at t e $nt ropocene ,w ic e dates to t e be!innin! of t e Ind"strial 0evol"tion in aro"nd 1?44 7 ;a reasonable SpointT from w ic to date t e be!innin! of t e capacity of "mankind to si!nificantly s ape Eart and its essential life s"pport systems>st- m"st be en!ineered and created into bein! a ."stainocene ,a term first created by <ryan +"rnass in 3413-. T at period as witnessed !reat conflicts and problems b"t also e%traordinary steps forward and advances – 0obert +o!el, ;T e Escape from 6"n!er and 2remat"re 'eat >


2er aps t e occasional moan or owl of conf"sion at o"r internet era is sometimes driven by an instinct t at all o"r yperte%t roads s o"ld indeed lead somew ere, to one sin!"lar place or te%t or idea, instead of /"st leadin! on to more yperte%t roads w ic lead on to more yperte%t roads etc. etc. In t at sense, maybe t e yperte%t"al world is a metap or or micro7representation of an ever e%pandin! "niverse wit o"t a fi%ed centre rat er t an t e fi%ed system t at dominated t e t o"! t of t e pre79opernican a!e. 1E? In a sense, a restoration era wo"ld be a kind of 'nostos' or omecomin! – a ret"rn by "manity to o"r own self ood after a lon! odyssey ,or leopoldbloomsey- into realms far beyond "s in space and time. 2er aps t e parado% of s"c an era mi! t be t at it also coincides wit an acceleration of o"r wanderin!s beyond o"r planetary ome. st .tanley Aana an, ;."stainocene> ,341E-

encaps"lates t e period from 1C44 to 3144 as bein! distinct in "man istory !iven t e escape from a norm of c ronic maln"trition, a do"blin! of avera!e lon!evity, an increase of avera!e body si)e of over F4L and a fifty7fold increase in t e avera!e incomes of t e people of t e *.$ and &apan and comparable increases in t e co"ntries of western E"rope 1E9. T ese processes, bot ones t at ave led to forms of pro!ress and ones t at ave led to dama!e and problems, were ina"!"rated by t e ei! teent cent"ry Ind"strial 0evol"tion and t en catalysed f"rt er in w at 8ill .teffen describes as t e '1reat $cceleration' from aro"nd 19F4 onwards w ic involved a concatenation of interlockin! take7off points and e%ponential rises in everyt in! from t e dammin! of rivers to t e n"mber of telep ones, from paper cons"mption to o)one depletion to international to"rism to forei!n direct investment levels to t e loss of tropical rainforests and woodlands1F4. $ vast panoply of c oices, c allen!es and con"ndr"ms t erefore face "s in t e early sta!es of t e 31 cent"ry. In partic"lar, we face t e c allen!e of makin! o"r tec nolo!y and desi!n inte!rated into nat"re rat er t an separated from it. Dne absol"tely central area ere is t e field of biomimicry w ic adopts nat"ral processes and t en adapts t em and modifies t em in order to create tools and inventions t at work armonio"sly wit t e ecosystems from w ic t ey were derived 7 one e%ample of w ic is t e desi!n of Norman +oster's '1 erkin' Tower, w ic was based on t e @en"s flower basket spon!e wit its lattice e%oskeleton stH anot er bein! t e aeroplane ,wit t e 8ri! t brot ers' st"dy of t e dra! and lift of v"lt"res- or @elcro, w ic was based on t e !rapplin! ooks of seeds. T e East!ate b"ildin! in 6arare, Pimbabwe, copies t e way t at termites "se eart masses and ventilation t"nnels to keep t e constr"ction in a state of omeostasis in terms of temperat"re. $ similar desi!n process as been "sed in 6arvard *niversity's TE0AE. system w ere roots b"ild comple%, :' str"ct"res wit o"t re#"irin! a central command str"ct"re or prescribed roles – inspired by t e way t at termites in a co"ntry s"c as Namibia constr"ct t eir "nder!ro"nd nests. T e water strate!ies of t e Namibian fo!7baskin! beetle, w ic "ses its s ell as a condensin! s"rface for moist"re, as inspired seawater !reen o"ses allowin! food prod"ction in arid re!ions of t e world1F1. 8e can, t erefore, mars all insi! ts from t e s ark's paintbr"s to t e !ecko's foot 1F3 in order to desi!n and create in ways t at occ"py a liminal space between t e s"pposed artificiality of t e tec nolo!ical and t e nat"ral processes t at ave evolved over billions of years on t is planet 1F:. 9omp"tin! itself mi! t be radically altered, wit an e%ample bein! t e rise of ne"romorp ic comp"tin! s"c as t e attempt to mirror insect ne"ronal networks led by Aic ael .c m"ker at t e +ree *niversity of <erlin. $nnalee Newit), ;.catter, $dapt and 0emember= 6ow 6"mans 8ill ."rvive a Aass E%tinction> ,341:- e%plores or!anisms s"c as cyanobacteria, w ic were t e first to evolve p otosynt esis and date from at least 3.? billion years a!o, in order to !ain insi! ts into ow t e "man species can ens"re lon!evity. T is is partic"larly key in terms of resilience to t e oscillations of climate t at ave led to alternations between a !reen o"se planet and an ice o"se
1E9 +o!el c aracterises t is t ree "ndred year period as bein! an era of 'tec nop ysical evol"tion' w ic as seen radical advances in wealt , ealt and "man control of t e environment and st e cientific, ind"strial, biomedical and c"lt"ral revol"tions t at ave "nderpinned t at control. 6e sees t is period, e%perienced by only ten !enerations of "mans o"t of C,444 in o"r wider istory, as bot "ni#"e and on!on!. 1F4 8ill .teffen et al, ;1lobal 9 an!e and t e Eart .ystem> ,344E, pp.1:37:st $not er e%ample are t e carbon nanot"be 'e7w iskers' t at are based on cat's w iskers developed by nanotec nolo!y researc ers from t e <erkeley 5ab and t e *niversity of 9alifornia <erkeley t at may be "sed to elp robots sense t eir s"rro"ndin!s. 1F1 $ndrew .imms, ;9ancel t e $pocalypse> ,341:1F3 2eter +orbes ,3414-. .cientists at 5ewis and 9lark 9olle!e and t e *niversity of 9alifornia, <erkeley, ave mimicked t e comple% microstr"ct"res of t e !ecko's foot in order to create an ad esive. 1F: &anine <eny"s, ;<iomimicry> ,3443- cites a n"mber of different developments t at co"ld come from o"r adaptation of nat"ral processes, s"c as ;s atterproof ceramics drawn from mot er7of7pearl, cancer c"res compliments of c impan)ees, perennial !rains inspired by tall!rass, comp"ters t at si!nal like cells, and a closed7 loop economy t at takes its lessons from redwoods, coral reefs, and oak7 ickory forests.> Termite towers are also kept at a omeostatic ?G de!rees +a ren eit, w ic is seen as 'bestin!' o"r tec nolo!ies of central eatin! and air conditionin!.

planet ,&osep (irsc vink's '.nowball Eart '- over t e co"rse of billions of years. 1reater a!!re!ation of bi! data on t e comple% concatenation of ca"ses t at led to climate c an!es and cycles in t e past may elp "s ne!otiate o"r c"rrent s ift and p"t in place mec anisms and systems to brin! t e !reatest possible resilience and prosperity in t e face of f"t"re ones. 6"man bein!s are, t erefore, in !reater s"pply t an ever, as are "man intelli!ence, in!en"ity and potential. T e "man ( strate!y of reprod"ction, rat er t an r strate!y, as proved remarkably s"ccessf"l. It is estimated t at it took from t e dawn of "man istory to 1?4E to reac t e first billion in terms of world pop"lation. 2rior to t at, t e sit"ation was a completely different one. T ere were certain interr"ptions to t e !eneral rise in pop"lation of co"rse, s"c as t e 1reat +amine of 1:1F71C or t e <lack 'eat t at peaked in t e years 1:E?7F4, b"t even wit t e !eneral s ift "pwards pop"lation was still eld wit in certain mat ematical limits. Indeed, at one sta!e somew ere between 1F4,444 and C4,444 years a!o it is likely t at "manity almost became e%tinct, wit an event t at may ave been an $frican dro"! t red"cin! t e pop"lation level to aro"nd 3,444. $fter t at nadir, t en, t e process as been one of overall e%pansion. T e 2aleolit ic $!e ad appro%imately one million in abitants, t e Neolit ic ad ten million 1FE, t e <ron)e $!e ad 144 million1FF. 1iven t e e%traordinary power of e%ponentials and ockey stick !rap s 1FG and t e e%tremely brief period of t e fossil f"el a!e 1FC, w ere we rapidly "sed "p a !reat deal of t e reso"rces t at were be#"eat ed to "s from 344 million years of istory, t e past two "ndred years ave witnessed an acceleratin! and f"ndamental step7c an!e beyond t e limitation and bo"ndary of one billion. T e twentiet cent"ry saw infant mortality decrease by 94L, maternal mortality by 99L, and life e%pectancy increase by over 144L1F?. In t e space of a sin!le "man lifetime all is in a process of marked transformation. 8 en I was born in 19C?1F9, I was appro%imately t e E,3GE,E9?,F4Gt person alive at t e time ,and t e C?,CEF,EF9,3G1st ever to ave lived 1G4-. In my lifetime, t e total as !one "p by almost t ree billion, close to a do"blin! in t irty five years. T e world I am in today is most certainly not t e same one as t e late 19C4s, w ic itself was radically different from t e world my parents were born into. Dn t e ori)on, and in t e absence of cataclysms ,partic"larly of t e more c allen!in! kind of entity t at Timot y Aorton refers to as ' yperob/ects' – in ot er words, c allen!es t at derive from so"rces t at are ;massively distrib"ted in time and space relative to "mans> in w at e depicts as an $!e of $symmetry-, t ere is not in! b"t t e same "pwards tra/ectory, albeit wit a certain de!ree of lowerin! in terms of overall !rowt rate1G1. $ccordin! to *nited Nations pro/ections, we may reac 9 billion by 34F4 or before, and by 3144 t ere may be in t e order of 14.9 billion 1G3 people in e%istence, w ic is t eir medi"m7variant fi!"re1G:. $ss"min! t at we do not follow "p Ernest 0"t erford's 1949 discovery t at 99.9L of t e
1FE Aark 5ynas, ;T e 1od .pecies> ,3413- asserts t at w en we developed a!ric"lt"re 14,444 years a!o, t ere were more still more baboons in e%istence t an "man bein!s. 1FF Aassimo 5ivi7<acci, ;$ 9oncise 6istory of 8orld 2op"lation> ,3413, p.31FG 1FC Aic ael Aann, ;T e 6ockey .tick and t e 9limate 8ars= 'ispatc es from t e +ront 5ines> ,3413&eremy 0ifkin s"!!ests t at in, say, fifty t o"sand years' time, people will describe o"r era ,or t e one t at is endin! today- as t e 9arbon $!e, rat er as we "se terms s"c as <ron)e $!e or Iron $!e today. It will of co"rse be s"bdivided wit landmarks s"c as Edwin 'rake's drillin! for oil in 2ennsylvania in 1?F9 or t e creation of t e ,later- vertically inte!rated .tandard Dil corporation in 1?C4. 1F? 2eter 'iamandis and .teven (otler, ;$b"ndance= T e +"t"re is <etter T an Yo" T ink> ,3413, p.i%1F9 T ere weren't #"ite a !a)illion people alive, t o"! t at was t e year of t e neolo!ism. 1G4 I personally find t e notion of seven billion "man bein!s almost entirely impossible to !et my mind aro"nd, b"t t en e#"ally w en one considers t at t ey mi! t be in t e order of :31,4:F,G3E,?39,941,444 ants in t e world, accordin! to $nt8eb, it is diffic"lt to compre end t e reality of t is. 1G1 T e peak !rowt period was 19GF7C4 w ere world pop"lation was increasin! by 3L per year. 1G3 Terreform's <io 9ity Aap pro/ect is based on a pro/ection of 11 billion by 3114. 1G: T e *N p"blis t eir 8orld 2op"lation 2rospects every two years. .ee, for instance, 'anny 'orlin!, ;2op"lation 14 <illion> ,341:-. Estimates of s"c a vastly comple% p enomenon as pop"lation !rowt , !iven t e myriad factors involved, of co"rse vary. $s an e%ample, t e &"ne 341: pro/ections by .an/eev .anyal of 'e"tsc e <ank are markedly lower, wit a world pop"lation peak of ?.C billion in 34F4 w ic t en declines to appro%imately

atom is empty space and condense t e seven billion of "s inside a sin!le apple by removin! t e empty space from o"r atoms 1GE, t en we are faced wit a sit"ation w ere t e "nprecedented level of "man pop"lation provides "s wit c allen!es in terms of food, water and s elter, as well as ow to en!ineer proper lifestyles and work patterns for as many people as possible on a planet of finite space and dimensions. 2recisely w ere pop"lation ends "p is not a !iven. 8 et er or not t at is a peak, or w et er pop"lation will rise beyond a possible platea" of ten or eleven billion, is c"rrently a matter of con/ect"re. <y 3:?1 t ere mi! t be CF billion people, for w om t ere may need to be t o"sand floor skyscrapers1GF. $lternatively t e 31 cent"ry mi! t be t e period of platea" and stabilisation= by t e middle of t is cent"ry t e world fertility rate may, for t e first time in "man istory, fall to t e replacement rate of 3.1 or belowst. $ peak mi! t even be reac ed in aro"nd 34F4 or so leadin! to an overall levellin!7off and stabilisation ,a F44 or 1,444 year period t at some describe, per aps pessimistically, as a kind of 'demo!rap ic winter'-.. $ !reat deal, of co"rse, depends "pon t e advances in medicine t at are accr"ed over t e co"rse of time, partic"larly in terms of overall mortality rates. 5imitations s"c as t e 6ayflick limit may be overcome, t e 1ompert) c"rve may be refas ioned, and t e !eneral barrier of aro"nd 134 years of life may be reac ed and s"perseded by more and more people ,wit t e 133 year old &eanne 9alment no lon!er bein! a statistical aberration-. $s noted in my previo"s work, t is period ,t at, in t e terms of 5"cien En!elen, mi! t be called t e era of 6ealt 3.4- is one t at is described by Eric Topol as t e 1reat Inflection in medicine. E%amples incl"de t e rise of intelli!ent pills w ic incl"de sensors to monitor t e medication "se of patients, apps s"c as 'eAedonline' w ic alert patients of medication sc ed"les, vaccines t at do not re#"ire refri!eration d"rin! transport, or t e rise in t e levera!in! of t e collective intelli!ence of t e tr"ly e%traordinary social network e%plosion1GG for clinical p"rposes1GC. 9ompanies s"c as +la!s ip @ent"res and Dsel are workin! on pills t at incl"de beneficial bacteria and are e%plorin! w et er or not bacterial imbalances ca"se problems s"c as 9ro n's disease or "lcerative colitis1G?. .earc en!ines and databases s"c as Epistemonikos or 9ases 'atabase provide portals t ro"! w ic medical practitioners and patients can attain foc"sed and filtered information on diseases and medicines. $ pro/ect s"c as 'i!itised 'iseases la"nc ed by t e 0oyal 9olle!e of ."r!eons in 5ondon in 341: allows people to e%amine specimens in :' of people datin! back to $n!lo7.a%on times w ic are too fra!ile to be andled in t e world of atoms rat er t an t e world of bits. 2ro/ects s"c as t e 9ancer 1enome 6"b, 9ancer 1enome 2ro/ect and t e 9ancer 1enome $tlas ave "s ered in a new era in terms of t e classification of different forms of cancer1G9 and point t e way towards t e discovery of t e c"re for cancer, w ic co"ld
? billion by 3144, as disc"ssed by 6anna <arnes, <<9, 39t .eptember 341:. 1GE 2a"l .en, ;Tiny findin! opened new frontier>, <<9 News, 3Ft &"ly 344C 1GF 0obert .ilverber!, ;T e 8orld Inside> ,19C1st In 19C4 t e world fertility rate was E.EF. T is ad fallen to 3.EF by 3414. 9ertain cases ave been remarkable= Iran fell from C in 19?E to 1.9 in 344G. 1GG T e s eer ran!e and dept of social networkin! sites, and t ere ever !reater precision to certain interests and fields of activity, is remarkable in scale and scope. .ee, for e%ample, ttp=JJen.wikipedia.or!JwikiJ5istXofXsocialXnetworkin!Xwebsites. $n interestin! #"estion wo"ld be t at of ow many of t ese will still be in e%istence or, indeed, !rowin! in, say, 3144, or 3F44, or :444, or beyond. 1GC 5ee $ase, 'an 1oldman, Aeredit 1o"ld, &o n Nosewort y, ;<rin!in! t e .ocial Aedia 0evol"tion to 6ealt 9are> ,3413-. 1G? Aor!ana Aat"s, In, 1Ft &an"ary 341E. 1G9 T e #"estion of a c"re for cancer is an interestin! area in terms of t e openness of information. $n important case ere is t at of &ack $ndraka w o, at 1F, invented a new met od for detectin! a rare type of pancreatic cancer. $s Elliot 6armon ar!"ed at creativecommons.or! on Ct &an"ary 341E, a lar!e part of t e breakt ro"! was a res"lt of readin! so"rces at open access databases wit 9reative 9ommons licenses. $ndraka ar!"es t at access to knowled!e is, in fact, a basic "man ri! t. $ similar sit"ation e%ists in t e case of 2ro/ect Aarilyn r"n by Isaac Yonemato w ic is makin! its work open so"rce and is also rat er interestin!ly plannin! to "se <itcoin for donations. In t e absence of a "niversal c"re for cancer avin! been "neart ed, one cannot ima!ine any better response to a dia!nose of cancer t an to create a work of bea"ty s"c as t at by Eric .mit , ;5ive Now= $rtf"l

drastically len!t en life e%pectancy1C4 ,f"rt erin! a wider lon! trend since, as $n!"s 'eaton observes, t ere is not a sin!le co"ntry in t e world w ere infant or c ild mortality today is not lower t an it was in 19F4- and once a!ain e%tend t e !ap between birt and deat rates. In t e meantime, social networkin! sites s"c as 9ancer in 9ommon allow s"fferers of cancer t e opport"nity to !ain solidarity wit eac ot er t ro"! s arin! t eir stories and e%periences and a pro/ect s"c as 1enomera provides a for"m for t e s arin! of information and t e prod"ction of novel remedies and sol"tions to diseases. 9ases s"c as t e '@isconti co ort' of fo"rteen patients in +rance, w o were 'f"nctionally c"red' wit anti7retro viral dr"!s also point to t e possibility of a lon!7term c"re for t e 6I@ vir"s w ic first emer!ed in 19?:1C1. Aeanw ile developments s"c as t e work by Eli)abet <lackb"rn, 9arol 1reider and &ack .)ostak on t e en)yme 'telomerase' may a!ain ave ramifications for life e%pectancy, and t e potential developments from pl"ripotent stem cells are vast in scope 1C3. T e se#"encin! of t e !enome and t e discovery of 'N$ ave ramifications, ar!"ably, as !reat as t e ori!inal invention of t e alp abet itself, and "s er in a potential world ,t e era of 5ee 6ood's '2E medicine'- w ere vast n"mbers of people aro"nd t e world follow t e pat of &.9rai! @enter and &ames 8atson and ave t e f"ll t ree billion letters of t eir 'N$ se#"enced1C: by companies s"c as 3:andAe, de9D'E and Navi!enics. 8e may also see more istorical fi!"res avin! t eir !enomes se#"enced, /oinin! t e ranks of Dt)i t e Iceman ,w o died over F444 years a!o- as well as 0ic ard III w ose remains were discovered in a car park in 5eicester in 341:1CE. .t"dies and entities s"c as t e International 6apAap 2ro/ect or 1en<ank ave also e%tended o"r knowled!e of diseases, t eir distrib"tions and t eir potential sol"tions. 1oo!le are developin! 'smart' contact lenses t at monitor blood s"!ar levels for diabetics. 9ompanies s"c as Dr9am are developin! systems ,t eir first la"nc ed in 341:- t at allow t e vis"ally impaired to overcome t eir disability to an e%tent, wit , for instance, t e combination of a tiny di!ital camera and speaker directly readin! so"rces of te%t. T ere are a wide n"mber of diseases and syndromes t at ave so far proved beyond c"res w ic mi! t /oin diseases s"c as smallpo% and rinderpest in t e annals of istory 1CF. <ill 1ates reported in &an"ary 341E, for instance, t at India ad !one t ree years wit o"t a sin!le case of wild poliovir"s and is t erefore declared 'polio7free' as a res"lt of campai!ns by or!anisations s"c as t e 1lobal 2olio Eradication Initiative and 0otary International. T is is part of a wider !oal to make t e entire world polio free by 341?. ."c developments will nat"rally accelerate if problems s"c
Aessa!es of 6ope, 6appiness and 6ealin!> ,3411-. Time will tell if t e trans "manism envisa!ed by &"lian 6"%ley, ;0eli!ion 8it o"t 0evelation> ,193C-, w ic posits t e potential of e%tension of "man life beyond t e "ndred years into t e t o"sands, and per aps even beyond, will prove to be real or mere ima!ination. In 344E, for instance, $"brey de 1rey p"t forward t e view t at t e first person to live to a t o"sand mi! t be abo"t si%ty years old at t e time. It is an e%traordinary ambition to transm"te 'aniel 'efoe or <en/amin +ranklin's ap orism into ;T ere is not in! inevitable b"t ta%es> b"t it remains to be seen ow far pro!ression is possible in reality. 1C1 $t t e time of writin!, Aark <oyer reported for in on :rd November 341: t at researc ers at 8as in!ton *niversity ad discovered t at a to%in from bees called melittin mi! t ave an instr"mental role in limitin! t e 6I@ vir"s. Nat"rally if t ere is pro!ress from s"c medical researc t en solvin! t e problems of bee colony collapse disorder wo"ld be, if anyt in!, more important. 1C3 $ team led by 6ans78illem .noeck at t e 9ol"mbia 9entre for Translational Imm"nolo!y and t e 9ol"mbia .tem 9ell Initiative p"blis ed a paper in 341: revealin! ow pl"ripotent stem cells ad been transformed into l"n! and airway cells for t e first time. 1C: (evin 'avies, ;T e R1,444 1enome= T e 0evol"tion in 'N$ se#"encin! and t e New Era of 2ersonali)ed Aedicine> ,34141CE 2atrick 8alter, ;1enome st"dy to p"rs"e 0ic ard III's medical istory>, Chemistry orld, 11t +ebr"ary 341E 1CF 8e are c"rrently some distance away from t e Aartians in 6.1.8ells, ;8ar of t e 8orlds> ,1?9?- w o ad s"ccessf"lly con#"ered all t eir infectio"s diseases, t o"! t ere is c"rrently pro!ress on diseases s"c as yaws, drac"nc"liasis, ookworm, malaria, yellow fever, measles, m"mps, r"bella, lymp atic filariasis and cysticercosis. In t e case of smallpo%, t e work of people s"c as 'onald $.6enderson wit t e Eradication pro!ramme c an!ed t e sit"ation from one w ere appro%imately :44 million people died from it to one in t e 31st cent"ry w ere, opef"lly, nobody at all will ,t e last deat bein! in .omalia in 19CC-. 1C4

as t e resistance of pat o!enic bacteria to antiobiotics are solved, and if t e dan!er of a rapid velocity of transmission of a pandemic as a res"lt of a yper7connected world is averted.. It mi! t even prove possible to find a c"re for t e common cold. T ose interested in t at partic"lar sp ere of investi!ation and e%ploration w o are involved in i! er and f"rt er ed"cation instit"tions can freely listen to oral istory testimonies of t ose w o worked at t e 9ommon 9old *nit in .alisb"ry between 19FC and its clos"re in 1994 at t e <ritis 5ibrary online arc ive 1CG. $!ain ere we see t e potential of t e a!!re!ation of bi! data in an e%ample s"c as t e collaboration between 1oo!le and t e 8orld 6ealt Dr!anisation t at led to 1oo!le +l" Trends, or in t e creation of vol"nteer pro/ects s"c as I5INet ,Infl"en)a7like Illness ."rveillance Network-. T e nanoscale revol"tion also promises ealt improvements, wit an e%ample bein! t e "se of nano silver particles to kill !erms ,"p to GF4 different bacteria- some of w ic ave become resistant to antibiotics1CC. $!ain, ere we face vast potential improvements as a res"lt of ever more intelli!ent forms of a!!re!ation of yper7ab"ndant data and information. $n e%ample is 2ro/ect Tyc o, named after Tyc o <ra e ,w ose data was cr"cial to (epler's form"lation of t e laws of planetary motion-. 9"rated by t e *niversity of 2ittsb"r! 1rad"ate .c ool of 2"blic 6ealt , t is pro/ect as di!itised and collated p"blic ealt records ,data !at ered from weekly disease records and s"rveillance tables- from 1??? to 341: wit in7dept analysis into diseases s"c as smallpo%, polio, measles, r"bella, m"mps, and pert"ssis. Aeanw ile devices s"c as accelerometers ave been "sed to !ain important data concernin! de!enerative diseases s"c as 2arkinson's and $5. ,5o" 1e ri!'s disease-1C?. T e way in w ic distances of time and space ave been dissolved in t e post7 1"tenber! a!e as also ad ramifications in s"r!ical terms, wit t e rise of more advanced met ods of remote s"r!ery. T e transatlantic 5indber! Dperation performed by 'r.&ac#"es Aaresca"% in .eptember 3441 may become "bi#"ito"s alon! wit systems s"c as PE*. or t e da @inci s"r!ical system. In anot er frontier of knowled!e, initiatives s"c as $merican 1"t and *biome are lookin! to "nderstand t e trillions of bacteria w o live on and in o"r bodies and to mars all t at knowled!e to f"rt er t e era of personalised microbial ealt care. 8 et er one accepts t e 9artesian d"alism of mind and body or not, t ere may also be !reat advances and pro!ressions in t e sp ere of mental ealt – and in t e knowled!e and "nderstandin! of t e interconnection between t e p ysical and t e psyc olo!ical. Tec ni#"es s"c as biofeedback, e%plored for e%ample by researc ers at t e Ne"rot erapy 9entre of 'allas, may prove effective in amelioratin! and c"rin! depressions. $dvances in ne"roscience ave provided "s wit insi! ts into t e c an!es in brain activity from processes s"c as meditation w ic in many cases may be more cond"cive to s"ccessf"l o"tcomes t an a !reat deal of medication 1C9. $s Aartin .eli!man p"ts it, fo"rteen of t e ma/or mental ealt problems are now treatable by medication or psyc ot erapy, wit two of t em ,panic disorder and blood and in/"ry p obia- ;virt"ally c"rable>. 8e may t erefore see all manner of advances in o"r knowled!e of bot mental and p ysical ealt as profo"nd as t e ascendancy of t e !erm t eory of disease t at rose to prominence from t e middle 1?44s and displaced pre7e%istin! ideas of miasma and conta!ion, partic"larly t ro"! t e work of 5o"is 2aste"r and 0obert (oc . $nd we may see rates of pro!ress t at b"ild on previo"s cent"ries= Nobel 2ri)e winner 0obert +o!el as calc"lated, for instance, t at over t e co"rse of t e twentiet cent"ry t e avera!e a!e of a person's first incidence of eart disease was delayed by nine years, cancers by ei! t years and respiratory diseases by eleven years. ,t o"! it is interestin! to note t at, accordin! to researc , t is as not been t e case wit mental ealt problems s"c as depression- ."c advances may be stim"lated and accelerated by t e "se of crowdso"rcin! and
1CG 1CC 1C? ttp=JJso""k .asc a 2eters, ;Aaterial 0evol"tion> ,3411, p.1FC'isc"ssed by <en 8aber, ;2eople $nalytics= 6ow .ocial .ensin! Tec ni#"es 8ill Transform <"siness and 8 at it Tells *s $bo"t t e +"t"re of 8ork> ,341:-. 1C9 $n e%ample is t e researc carried o"t by a /oint st"dy between .ydney *niversity and t e Norwe!ian *niversity of .cience and Tec nolo!y in 3449 w ic fo"nd, for e%ample, an ab"ndance of t eta waves in t e front and middle parts of t e brain as well as an ab"ndance of alp a waves in posterior parts of t e brain.

!amification, in e%amples s"c as t e 344? +oldit ,w ic "ses a !ame str"ct"re to elp predict protein str"ct"res-, 2 ylo, Aalaria.pot, 9ell .lider, 'i)ee) or Nano'oc. <ioc emists at 8as in!ton *niversity "sed players of +oldit 1?4 to solve t e problem of t e intricate str"ct"re of t e A72A@ retroviral protein, an en)yme t at plays an important role in t e development of 6I@. 9ancer 0esearc *( ave developed a s oot7'em7"p !ame called 1enes in .pace w ic a!ain elps to process !enetic data in a way t at saves scientists t e ard"o"s #"antity of time t at it wo"ld take t em to do it t emselves. $dvances in medicine may, t erefore, e%tend lon!evity and e%acerbate an already well establis ed me!atrend – The )conomist noted in 3413 t at on a !lobal basis t e pop"lation a!ed over si%ty five is likely to ave more t an do"bled to 1GL by 34F4 1?1. $ lon!7term sit"ation in E"rope and &apan of lower t an replacement levels of fertility as led to t e advent of t e era of t e M!rey dawnN in t e analysis of 2eter 2eterson ,1999-. 7 a sit"ation t at is well embedded in a co"ntry s"c as 0"ssia w ose pop"lation levels ave been in overall decline since 199F. +red 2earce, ;2eople#"ake> ,3411- observes t at, w ile it is not tr"e t at over alf of t e people w o ave ever lived are alive today it is possible t at ; alf of all t e people w o ave ever mana!ed to reac t e a!e of GF are alive today.> 6e s"!!ests t at we may even see t e development of a different kind of era dominated to some de!ree by networks of !lobal elders. $ similar proposition is p"t forward in (en 'yc twald's concept of a !lobal 'a!e wave'. 6e makes t e observation t at for 99L of "man istory life e%pectancy at birt was an avera!e of less t an 1? years. Dver t e co"rse of t e previo"s millenni"m life e%pectancy rose from 3F years to EC by t e t"rn of t e twentiet cent"ry and t en "p to C? by t e dawn of t e 31. T e ramifications of t is c an!e are not yet clear. Aany concerns ave been raised abo"t t e press"res on welfare and economic systems to provide for people w o ave reac ed retirement a!e and contin"e to live for lon!er and lon!er periods. Dn t e ot er and, as s"!!ested by <ernard 5ietaer, ;T e +"t"re of Aoney> ,3441- t ere may be a f"sion of t e a!e wave and t e information a!e w ereby ;t e incomin! (nowled!e .ociety mi! t evolve into an era t at deserves to be called a 8isdom $!e.> It wo"ld certainly be wise to avoid t e dystopian prospect envisa!ed in $nt ony Trollope, ;T e +i%ed 2eriod> ,1??3- w ere a 19?4s was conceived in w ic people retired at t e a!e of GC in order to "nder!o a year of contemplation w ic ended in e"t anisation by c loroform. .eein! elderly people as a so"rce of wisdom and ideas rat er t an a drain on society is certainly a prere#"isite of s"ccess over t e fort comin! decades and cent"ries. T e bo"ndaries of o"r demo!rap y are, t erefore, debatable. $t a certain point in istory t ere will nat"rally be a n"merical peak in "man n"mbers, w ic , for an inveterate !ambler, wo"ld be a fascinatin! n"mber to attempt to estimate correctly. $n e%treme lon! term view ,t at mi! t or mi! t not be rational in its optimismst or, alternatively, intelli!ent in its optimism1?3- mi! t pro/ect, say, tens or "ndreds of billions dispersed across different parts of t e "niverse, b"t makin! s"c a prediction is diffic"lt or close to impossible !iven t e vast n"mbers of factors and feedback loops involved. In t e view of 8olf!an! 5"t) and 8arren .anderson, ;T e End of 8orld 2op"lation 1rowt in t e 31 9ent"ry> ,344E- t is cent"ry is likely to witness a peak in t e n"mber of people alive – and, ideally, in a manner t at is based on peacef"l and not artificial lowerin! of overall birt rates. In retrospect, it mi! t appear t at a civilisation across space was as inevitable a process as t e "rbanisation of t e "man species, ma!netised by everyt in! from t e !reater opport"nities of t e con"rbation, &ane &acobs's idea of t e attractions of 'sidewalk life' or t e 'me!apolisomancy' of +rit) 5eiber. ."c developments do not always look #"ite so inevitable at t e time, owever. &o n 1rimond, )conomist, Aay 344C, points o"t t at only :L of t e world lived in cities in 1?44, a fi!"re t at, in 3449, reac ed over F4Lst. In 19F4 only New York and Tokyo co"ld be classified as
1?4 1?1 st 1?3 st Nobody as yet synt esised +oldit wit 8illiam <"rro"! sNs fold7ins, b"t it may one day appen. )conomist, ;Ae!ac an!e= T e world in 34F4> , Aatt 0idley, ;T e 0ational Dptimist> ,3411-. ttp=JJt Edward 1laeser, ;Tri"mp of t e 9ity> ,3411-. 1laeser asserts t at livin! in a city makes "s F4L more

me!acities ,or, alternatively, '"rban a!!lomerations' or 'city states' 1?:-, i.e. avin! over 14m in abitants. <y 343F t at fi!"re co"ld be :C, accordin! to t e *N. T e rise of t e me!acity as !one and7in7 and wit t at of t e 'instant city' s"c as $b" ' abi r P en!) o". $s well as me!acities t ere is also t e rise of me!a7re!ions, for e%ample 1reater Tokyo and t e <oston7New York78as in!ton corridor ,t e top E4 me!a re!ions make "p a total of aro"nd 1?L of t e world's pop"lation b"t are responsible for over GFL of its economic activity- 1?E. Aeanw ile accordin! to t e 9 inese $cademy of .ocial .ciences' bl"e book report in 341:, it is pro/ected t at 9 inese "rbanisation will reac G4L by 341? from c"rrent levels of aro"nd FEL T e *nited Nations' 2op"lation 'ivision estimates t at GCL of "manity will live in "rban areas by 34F4 1?F. *rbanisation, like pop"lation, as e%ploded in a relatively s ort period of time 1?G and, wit t e infl"ence of mass mi!ration and tec nolo!ical c an!es and comm"nication revol"tions, in a s ort space of time we ave seen t e rise of t e etero!eneo"s, pl"ralistic, m"ltic"lt"ral cosmopolis 1?C. In t e 31 cent"ry and beyond t e city mayor may prove to be one of t e most pivotal political roles of all. Dn t e ot er and,as s own in decentralised pro/ects s"c as Aap (ibera ,w ere vol"nteers "sed and eld 12. "nits and t e wiki Dpen.treetAap to create a detailed map of t e most informal part of Nairobi- t ere are ways in w ic crowdso"rcin! a"!ments t e a"tocatalytic nat"re of t e most vibrant citiesst. &"st as "rbanisation e%ploded rapidly in a blink of an eye in deep istorical terms, space civilisation mi! t e%plode in scale and scope as well at some point in o"r f"t"re 1??. T e two may be intimately connected lon!7term developments and may s ine a li! t on o"r "ltimate meanin! as a species, partic"larly !iven t e $ristotelian idea t at t e end of an entity e%plains t e essence of it. It may also be t e case t at t e relatively recent spike in "rban pop"lations is merely t e prel"de to a f"rt er sta!e of development of cities w ic mean t at by t e end of t e twenty first or twenty second cent"ry t ey are f"ndamentally and #"alitatively different spaces and environments from t eir nineteent or twentiet cent"ry predecessors. T is also may lead to transitions in "man evol"tion, wit t e e%pansion, for e%ample, of t e '"nbar n"mber ,and its e%tension beyond t e perceived 1F4 or so close and stable relations ips t at can be maintained at any partic"lar moment in time-. .mart and intelli!ent cities and me!acities may become "bi#"ito"s alon! t e lines of models s"c as .on!do in .o"t (orea. T ese cities of interconnected ne%"ses of data and information ,"sin! systems s"c as I<A's .marter 9ities pro!ramme- may look on t e s"rface
prod"ctive w ic is t e ;city's ed!e in prod"cin! ideas>. T is is confirmed in t e researc of 1eoffrey 8est at t e .anta +e Instit"te e%plorin! t e e%istence of s"perlinear scalin! in metropolitan areas. $t t is sta!e of "rban evol"tion, t at does not necessarily e%tend to food prod"ction of co"rse, t o"! s"c a disparity may conceivably c an!e over time wit t e rise of t e 'r"rban' mi% between t e "rban and t e r"ral. 1?: .parks and 6oney, ? E%ponential Trends T at 8ill . ape 6"manity= 9ent"ry of t e 9ity .tate. &ane &acobs, ;9ities and t e 8ealt of Nations> ,19?F- saw t e city state as t e basic drivin! "nit of economic development rat er t an t e nation7state. 1?E +lorida, 1"lden and Aellander, ;T e 0ise of t e Ae!a 0e!ion> ,344C1?F 2.' , ;9ity> ,3413- sees t is fi!"re as bein! closer to CFL. 1?G T omas 6omer7'i%on, ;T e In!en"ity 1ap> ,3444- makes t e observation t at in 1?44 t e avera!e person met no more t an a few "ndred people in a lifetime w ile at t e t"rn of t e 31st cent"ry t at fi!"re ad risen to per aps "ndreds of t o"sands of people. If one incl"des social interactions in cyberspace, t at n"mber is clearly si!nificantly lar!er. 1?C 5eonie .andercock and 2eter 5yssiotis, ;9osmopolis II= Aon!rel 9ities of t e 31 st 9ent"ry> ,344:st TE' <ooks, ;9ity 3.4> ,341:1?? $!ain, predictin! precisely w en s"c developments mi! t occ"r is a !reat c allen!e. 8e ma not be #"ite on track for t e f"t"re envisa!ed by 1erard D'Neill, ;34?1= $ 6opef"l @iew of t e 6"man +"t"re> ,19?1- w ere e envisa!ed more $mericans livin! in space t an lived in t e *.$, b"t t en e%ponential c an!es can appen in brief time periods w ic c an!e t e tra/ectory of "man life in remarkable ways t at are diffic"lt to acc"rately predict in temporal terms. (evin (elly, ;8 at Tec nolo!y 8ants> ,3411- disc"sses t e incredible speed of diff"sion of 6omo .apiens from a few tens of t o"sands of individ"als in $frica to an estimated ei! t million aro"nd t e world on t e c"sp of t e birt of a!ric"lt"re 14,444 years a!o. 8 at propelled t is transition, it is ar!"ed, was t e development F4,444 years a!o of t e capacity for lan!"a!e, w ic differentiated .apiens from t e Neandert als and ot er ominins.

completely different in t e a!e of w at $nders .orman7Nilsson describes as t e 'di!ilo!"e', t e f"sion and intermi%in! of t e traditions of an analo!"e world wit t e mores and c"lt"res of a new di!ital one. T ey may evolve into ind"strial desi!ner Aatt &ones's idea of ;battle s"its for s"rvivin! t e f"t"re>. T ey may ave radically different memories of t emselves, wit an e%ample bein! t e @enice Time Aac ine pro/ect w ere t e di!itisation of ?4 kilometres of books will lead to a istorical and !eo!rap ical sim"lation of t e city of @enice across a millenni"m. In t e case of a city s"c as @enice, t e interface of t e nat"ral and t e artificial may indeed be cr"cial to t e s"rvival of t e city itself= as 0ac el $rmstron! notes, carbon7fi%in! protocell tec nolo!y co"ld ;stop t e city...sinkin! !eneratin! a s"stainable, artificial reef "nder SitsT fo"ndations.> 1?9 .imilar principles and enterprises mi! t save a lar!e n"mber of coastal cities from problems over t e co"rse of decades. $rcolo!y, a portmantea" of arc aeolo!y and ecolo!y created by t e arc itect 2aolo .oleri, may become t e norm. 'evelopments s"c as t e 9learpoint Tower in .ri 5anka or Ailan's <osco @erticale ,or @ertical +orest- pro/ect in t e 2orta N"ova Isola area w ic is comprised of two towers able to accommodate E?4 bi! and medi"m si)e trees, 3F4 small si)e trees, 11444 !ro"ndcover plants and F444 s r"bs ,t e e#"ivalent of a ectare of forest- may become as "bi#"ito"s as t e towerin! "rban skylines t at were first created in New York. $ll new "rban settlements may be planned specifically on a )ero carbon basis in t e manner of Aasdar 9ity in $b" ' abi or 'on!tan on an island in t e Yan!t)e 'elta in 9 ina ,described by 6erbert 1irardet as t e 'world's first eco7 city'-. In fact, p oto!rap s of ow cities were in t e ind"strial era in t e past two or t ree "ndred years mi! t strike o"r descendents as bein! e%traordinarily den"ded and divorced from nat"re and nat"ral r yt ms and processes !iven t e potential for a renaissance of "rban !reenin! t at wo"ld ave s"rpassed even t e wildest ideas of Dctavia 6ill 7 one e%ample bein! t e pro/ected self7 s"fficient New York of 314G by Terreform. $not er e%ample is t e 1oa 0*rbanism pro/ect in India, w ic seeks an interpenetration of "rban areas by r"ralised developments s"c as rice paddies, fis ponds and ve!etable !ardens 194. $lmost all cities may at some point /oin places s"c as Tallinn in Estonia or Templin, 9 atea"ro"% and $"ba!ne in offerin! free transit to its pop"lation. .ome cities t at were b"ilt for dependence on t e car, s"c as Dkla oma 9ity, may reinvent t emselves as 'walkable cities'191 and, in doin! so, elp to avoid t e concatenation of ealt problems associated wit ,omo sedentarius193. Indeed, t e ability to live wit in ecolo!ical b"d!ets and limits may become a kind of bad!e of ono"r of every "rban settlement in an a!e t at becomes yper7competitive on s"c a basis and people may !ravitate to cities based on statistical metrics t at rate t e #"ality of life and contrib"tion to overall !lobal welfare in ever more n"anced and deep ways. 6opef"lly we will also avoid t e "nfort"nate development of ! ost cities, w ere irrational e%"berance !ets t e better of sensible lon!7term plannin!. $nd, moreover, we will opef"lly see t e ability to red"ce t e n"mbers of empty and abandoned o"ses t at occ"r in devastatin! parallel wit omelessness and o"sin! insec"rity. +or now, on an ever more "rbanised .paces ip Eart ,or per aps, if we follow <ill Ac(ibben, t e planet Eaart -, t e vast increase in "man n"mbers wit in t e time frame of only two cent"ries as occ"rred in parallel wit collapses in t e n"mbers of species t at ave been c aracterised as representin! a possible si%t mass e%tinction ,in t e terminolo!y of 0ic ard 5eakey-, followin! t e Drdovician, 'evonian, 2ermian, Triassic and 9retaceo"s. 2rior to t e emer!ence of "manity, t e e%tinction rate was abo"t one per million species per year, w ile now it
1?9 194 191 193 0ac el $rmstrin!, Ne%tNat", 3414 'isc"ssed in 6erbert 1irardet, ;9ities people planet= liveable cities for a s"stainable world> ,344E, p.3GFTE' <ooks, ;9ity 3.4> ,341:<eyond t e #"estion of ealt , t ere is also t e #"estion of t e ma%imisation of s"ccessf"l e%perience= Iain .inclair's view is t at ;walkin! is t e best way to e%plore and e%ploit t e city>. T is is not #"ite t e same as 0on 6erron's concept of t e '8alkin! 9ity' ,19GE-, fo co"rse, since t at involved b"ildin!s t at wo"ld be capable of walkin! by bein! propelled by insect7like robotic le!s.

is one per t o"sand per year19: 2revio"s mass e%tinctions were dominated by "n"s"al events s"c as asteroids, ma/or volcanic er"ptions, ice a!es, possible !amma ray destr"ction of t e o)one layer allowin! an ab"ndance of "ltraviolet radiation 19E, or lar!e c an!es in ocean c emistry. T e c"rrent mass e%tinction, owever, as been t e res"lt of t e ine%orable rise of "manity, partic"larly since we dispersed from $frica 144,444 years a!o – as Eli)abet (olbert, ;T e .i%t E%tinction> ,341Ep"ts it, ;0i! t now we are decidin!, wit o"t #"ite meanin! to, w ic evol"tionary pat ways will remain open and w ic will forever be closed>. It started d"rin! t e 2leistocene wit t e be!innin! of t e decline of t e mammalian me!afa"na, incl"din! many of t e animals in 9"vier's mena!erie of t e disappeared s"c as mammot s, mastodons and cave bears 19F. $ 344: st"dy eaded by <oris 8orm and 0ansom Ayers concl"ded t at 94L of all lar!e fis ,open ocean species incl"din! t"na, swordfis and marlin as well as lar!e !ro"ndfis s"c as cod, alib"t, skates and flo"nder- ad been depleted since t e onset of ind"strialised fis eries aro"nd 19F4. E.D.8ilson, ;T e +"t"re of 5ife> ,3443- calc"lated t at, at t e c"rrent rate of "man disr"ption of t e biosp ere, one alf of Eart 's i! er lifeforms will be e%tinct by 3144. E%tinction, bein! a form of deat , is of co"rse a part of life. 'avid 0a"p, ;E%tinction – <ad 1enes or <ad 5"ck> ,1993, pp.:7E- ar!"ed t at t ere ave probably been somew ere between five and fifty billion species in e%istence at some point in t e past, wit appro%imately 99.9L no lon!er e%istin!. 6owever, t e c"rrent levels of e%tinction raise profo"nd #"estions abo"t o"r relations ip to nat"re, o"r responsibilities, and w at pat ways we adopt from ere onwards. T is, alon! wit t e "nclear conse#"ences of climate c an!e 19G ,and t e fears related to "nresolvable tippin! points19C- and t e press"re on limited p ysical reso"rces, are per aps t e
19: 19E 19F 19G .tanley 0ice, ;Encyclopedia of Evol"tion> ,3449, p.3G1$s proposed, for e%ample, by $drian Aelott. 'avid 0e)nick, ;T e 'Dri!in' T e and Now= $n Interpretative 1"ide to t e 'Dri!in of .pecies'> ,3411, p.:14$ tro"blin! combination of an overall tra/ectory of temperat"re and sea level rises on t e one and and !reater micro7e%tremities on t e ot er. In t is conte%t, $nnalee Newit) cites pro/ects s"c as t e Dre!an .tate Ts"nami 5ab or t e *9 <erkeley Eart #"ake .im"lator 5ab as bein! instr"mental in elpin! to model and "nderstand t e mat ematics and p ysics of nat"ral disasters in order to minimise dama!e and increase resilience. Aeanw ile or!anisations s"c as t e *. 1eolo!ical ."rvey ave establis ed a Twitter Eart #"ake 'etector to "se t e wisdom of crowds to !ain information on eart #"akes. $ similar process is at work in t e .tanford *niversity B"ake7 9atc er Network ,B9N- w ic a!ain "ses vol"nteers to elp c art f"t"re events. 'avid +einleib, ;<i! 'ata 'emystified> ,341:- points o"t t at systems like t e B9N were once pro ibitively e%pensive b"t no lon!er are as a res"lt of t e propa!ation of ;low cost sensor networks t at are !eneratin! vast #"antities of data>. 8ere I personally a T omas Edison or $le%ander 1ra am <ell type of mind, I wo"ld probably try to invent a mec anism of calmin! or miti!atin! nat"ral disasters, t o"! I wo"ld of co"rse acknowled!e t at s"c an enterprise mi! t ave t e risk of makin! t in!s worse and, moreover, since I do not ave t at type of mind, I do not ave t e first idea or inklin! of w ere one wo"ld be!in tryin!. T ere are several pro/ects t at aim at s"c event"alities, w ic may or may not prove to be eit er practically or et ically s"ccessf"l, s"c as t e patents eld by Intellect"al @ent"res to miti!ate t e impact of "rricanes. 6opef"lly, w et er we aim to en!ineer climate or not, we s all avoid t e kind of erratic seasons t at are t e allmark of t e planet (epler7E1:b, w ic wobbles ,or processes- rat er wildly on its spin a%is. 19C +or e%ample in t e case of t e r"naway !reen o"se effect involvin! water vapo"r and carbon dio%ide on t e planet @en"s, a vision of &osep +o"rier's !reen o"se effect writ lar!e. +ears over t is, and ot er problems, led Aartin 0ees, ;D"r +inal 9ent"ry= 8ill t e 6"man 0ace ."rvive t e Twenty7+irst 9ent"ryO> ,344:- to t e pessimistic concl"sion t at "manity faces a F47F4 c ance of s"rvival by 3144, a variant in some ways on t e 'oomsday ar!"ment created by astrop ysicist <randon 9arter in 19?:. T ose of a !amblin! nat"re mi! t like to enter t e fray on s"c predictions at ttp=JJwww.lon!bets.or!. 9live 6amilton, a"t or of a re#"iem for o"r species, s"!!ests t at by 34F4 a c an!ed climate mi! t lead to an $"stralia t at is not ;reco!nisably $"stralian>. Aeanw ile $lan 8eisman, ;T e 8orld 8it o"t *s> ,344C- provides "s wit t e t o"! t e%periment of ima!inin! t is planet wit o"t o"r pervasive presence t at as been an ever acceleratin! allmark of t e $nt ropocene. $ similar concern over s"stainability vers"s collapse feat"res in t e work of &osep Tainter, w ose analysis of t e collapse of civilisations is based in lar!e part on t eir inability at times of collapse to s"stain t e level of comple%ity t ey ave arrived at. D"r civilisations ave become very comple%, and are dependent on lar!e amo"nts of ener!y to s"stain t at comple%ity. T is is t e so"rce of pessimism abo"t civilisational collapse in some #"arters, s"c as 'erek &ensen, ;End!ame> ,344G-. T e centrality of a clean, s"stainable and renewable ener!y revol"tion is, t erefore, once a!ain "navoidable. $!ain we face t e #"estion of livin! at a time of transition and forkin! pat s to

!reatest factors t at co"ld lead to a pessimistic perspective and narrative abo"t o"r sit"ation today and in t e f"t"re. To "se Aalcolm 1ladwell's lan!"a!e, t is concatenation of factors is, in a sense, t e 1oliat t at faces "s all in t e early part of t e twenty first cent"ry. $t t eir most e%treme, t e pro!nostications t at arise from t ese views of t e reality of o"r sit"ation ave a tendency to descend into an apocalyptic vision t at is tr"ly ni! tmaris 19? 7 a kind of Easter Island c"lt"ral and ecolo!ical collapse writ lar!e. Ne!ative narratives may also be sed"ctive and addictive to an e%tent – people do not always want to be told t at everyt in! is act"ally !oin! to be D( 199. Indeed, it may be t e case t at millenarian imp"lses and t e creation of apocalyptic narratives cl"ster on arbitrary calendar landmarks s"c as t e birt of a new millenni"m in a way t at is entirely irrational and in no way connected to empirical realities. T is is, no do"bt, e%acerbated w en a problem is ant ropo!enetic – it leads to inevitable feelin!s of !"ilt over t e role t at mankind as played in c an!in! t e nat"re of life on Eart . 6ere &o n Aic ael 1reer's insi! t is important t at t e apocalyptic narrative is in many ways an inversion or flip7side of t e !rand narrative of "niform and "bi#"ito"s "man pro!ress, partic"larly since t e inception of t e vast c an!es to nat"re and society implicit in t e Ind"strial 0evol"tion344, crystallised o"t of t e ideas of !ro"ps s"c as t e 5"nar .ociety from t e 1CG4s onwards. It is easy for t ose w o ave essentially lost fait in a narrative of pro!ress or, indeed, "man e%ceptionalism341 to overt"rn t e narrative and see "man istory as a vast process of destr"ction rat er t an creation, partic"larly if t e relations ip between "manity and t e rest of t e nat"ral world is seen as a )ero7s"m !ame w ere t e rise of t e first side of t e e#"ation involves t e deat and decline of t e ot er343. It is, moreover, self7evident to many people t at stewards ip of t e nat"ral world is implicitly one of t e vocations or tasks of mankind !iven o"r dominant position in t at world in a relatively recent istorical period – t e era of t e $nt ropocene, and an era w ere we may ave already "s ered in a state s ift from one !eolo!ical p ase to anot er 34:. 8 atever o"r failin!s at it, and w et er or not every person is capable of it, t e fact t at we can become concio"s of s"c a vocation can be seen as evidence t at it is part of t e very conscio"sness of w at it is to be
very different f"t"res= &ames Aartin, ;T e Aeanin! of t e 31st 9ent"ry> ,344G- s"!!ests t at ;t is co"ld be "manity's last cent"ry, or it co"ld be t e cent"ry in w ic civili)ation sets sail toward a far more spectac"lar f"t"re.> 19? Dne wonders sometimes if proponents of t e most apocalyptic narratives fall into t e trap of seein! "manity itself as a kind of nat"ral disaster, to borrow t e title of a novel by Nerys 2arry. 199 $s t e work by 9 ronicle <ooks ,3411- p"ts it= ;Dptimism is "nderrated...Dne of t e million t in!s t at art can to break t e cycle of o"r days, p"ll "s from t e fo! of o"r own minds, force "s to look and see and t ink anew.> 344 &o n Aaynard (eynes, ;Essays in 2ers"asion> ,19:1- wrote t at from t e period w ere we first ave written records, ;back, say, to two t o"sand years before 9 rist – down to t e be!innin! of t e ei! teent cent"ry – t ere was no very !reat c an!e in t e standard of life of t e avera!e man livin! in t e civilised centres of t e eart .> 341 $s reported by Aatt 0idley, t e psyc olo!ist 'aniel 1ilbert /okes t at every member of is profession lives "nder t e obli!ation at some point to say ;T e "man bein! is t e only animal t at...>. D"r sense of e%ceptionalism at o"r ac ievements can lead to narratives of positivity and optimismH a sense t at "manity as been destr"ctive wit t e biosp ere can lead to inverted narratives t at are despairin!, cynical and pessimistic. $cknowled!in! dama!e is important, b"t s"cc"mbin! to a self7 atin! tendency towards t e latter is to be avoided. $t t e same time, we ave to reco!nise t at t ere are ways in w ic o"r "ni#"e intelli!ence as "man bein!s per aps mirrors ot er forms of deep intelli!ence in t e nat"ral world. $s an e%ample, researc by Tos "yiki Naka!aki in 3444 fo"nd t at 'even' t e slime mo"ld Physarum polycepahlum may be capable of intelli!ent c oice7makin!. In t e li! t of a 344F e%periment and t e lar!e n"mber of yperinflations and c"rrency r"ns, deval"ations and collapses in o"r monetary istory, it mi! t even t"rn o"t one day t at a species s"c as t e 9ap"c in monkey , Cebus capucinusis better wit money t an we are. 343 Aark 5ynas, ;T e 1od .pecies> ,3411- points o"t t at one si!n of t e dominance of "manity, at least on eart , in t e $nt ropocene is t at somew ere between a #"arter and a t ird of t e entire planetary 'net primary prod"ctivity' ,everyt in! prod"ced by plants "sin! t e power of t e s"n- is now dedicated to s"stainin! "s as a species. 34: T is was t e view e%pressed by $nt ony <arnofsky of t e *niversity of 9alifornia, <erkeley, and is team in t e r"n7"p to t e *N 0ioV34 9onference in 3413.

"man. $ !reat deal of w et er we s o"ld be celebratin! or not on New Year's 'ay 3144 depends "pon t e de!ree to w ic we "se o"r intelli!ence to f"lfill t at role of biop iliac stewards ip in t e remainder of t e cent"ry34E, and ow well we ne!otiate t e comple% balance between t e dic otomy of man and nat"re, as described by 1eor!e 2erkins Aars in 1?GE, wit in a olistic and w ole7eart conscio"sness34F and a framework driven by w at $nders Edwards refers to as t e 's"stainability revol"tion'34G. ."c responsibilisation ,to "se T omas .)as)'s word- is per aps part of t e very nat"re of "manity's rise to prominence on t is planet over t e past 344,444 years. 8 at narrative we create for o"r f"t"re lives will, to an e%tent, determine w at o"tcomes we ac ieve. 5oadin! a narrative for o"rselves is rat er akin to loadin! software, wit depressin! and cynical narratives bein! t e e#"ivalent of malware34C. It may or may not be t e case t at we need !rand narratives – s"c as t e idea of istory as a process of pro!ress – rat er t an t e postmodernist fra!mentation and fract"rin! of narratives. $nnalee Newit) p"ts forward t e idea t at o"r narratives f"nction in a similar way to t e mi!ration maps t at !rey w ales pass down to t eir descendants w ic elp orient t em and provide t em wit potential pat ways to follow in order to attain more s"ccessf"l lon!7term o"tcomes in terms of s"rvival and flo"ris in!. In partic"lar, Neal .tep enson s"!!ests t at t e world of science fiction provides a kind of iero!lyp ic reso"rce from w ic we can constr"ct narratives of f"t"re events and developments. Dnce a!ain we m"st not be blind to t e problems t at we face, or t e scale of t em. 6owever, it is also t e case t at we can sometimes make predictions abo"t f"t"re problems /"st on t e c"sp of tec nolo!ical or c"lt"ral developments t at solve t em in ways t at we do not anticipate. $s an e%ample, an article in The Times in 1?9E s"!!ested t at every street in 5ondon wo"ld soon be b"ried "nder orse man"re. In t e event, (arl <en)'s invention of t e orseless carria!e in 1ermany altered t e topo!rap y of t e f"t"re and c an!ed t e problem entirely. <en) imself t e "nderestimated t e commercial attractiveness of t e a"tomobile, believin! it wo"ld not rise above one million on t e mistaken ass"mption 34? t at t ere wo"ld not be eno"! c a"ffe"rs 349.. It may be t e case t at o"r two most pressin! f"t"re pat ways – overcomin! environmental crisis on o"r planet and ens"rin! t e resilience of o"r civilisation on t e one and, and layin! t e fo"ndations for a space civilisation on t e ot er, are on t e brink of advances and pro!ressions t at are e%ponential in nat"re and w ic will lead to profo"ndly different worlds and paradi!ms314. $s disc"ssed in ;6yper 5iteracy in t e E%ponential Epoc >, per aps t e !reatest advanta!e in t e contemporary world in terms of t e #"estion of biodiversity is t e e%ponential ability for "s to
34E E.D.8ilson, ;<iop ilia> ,19?E- p"t forward t e vision t e "man tendency to relate to nat"ral processes is an e%pression of a biolo!ical need t at is inte!ral to o"r p ysical and mental !rowt . T is is e%plored f"rt er in .tep en (ellert, ;T e <iop ilia 6ypot esis> ,199F-. 34F .tewart <rand, ;8 ole eart discipline= an ecopra!matist manifesto> ,344934G $fter all, !iven t e e%traordinary concatenation of factors and feedback loops t at ave led to life on o"r planet in t e first place, we may not !et a second c ance at Eden, to borrow t e title of a book by 2eter 6amilton. 34C If we follow t e ar!"ment of 9 ristop er <ooker, ;T e .even <asic 2lots> ,344E- t en t ere is a !eneral "nderlyin! str"ct"re to narratives actin! as t eir scaffoldin! or skeleton "pon w ic we layer details. 8e mi! t be wise to c oose narratives for t e story of "man istory t at do not fall into t e tra!ic cate!ory, for e%ample. Narratives of dystopias are also "sef"l warnin!s, b"t not recipes or instr"ction man"als. $not er interestin! view ere is t at of @ladimir 2opp w o analysed 0"ssian folktales and divided t em "p into :1 elements. 34? $s disc"ssed earlier, it is very easy to point o"t ot ers' predictive errors and far arder to predict acc"rately oneself, b"t <en)'s view was similar to some of t e predictions of t inkers at t e 9 ica!o 8orld +air in 1?9: – one of t e few areas t ey did !et ri! t was t e "bi#"ity of t e telep one, t o"! t ey perceived it wo"ld only be in every city rat er t an almost every ome. 349 'isc"ssed in 0ic ard 8atson and Dliver +reeman, ;+"t"revision= .cenarios for t e 8orld in 34E4> ,341:, p.:314 $!ain, ere, t e #"estion of prediction is not easy= it was easy in indsi! t to see t e prevalence of t e a"tomobile b"t not at t e time. $s mentioned before, t e idea of 2redictipoints wo"ld elp in t e #"antification of predictions of t e f"t"re. .ome of t ese mi! t prove false, s"c as t e idea of "bi#"ito"s space fli! t or space to"rismH ot ers mi! t simply be a little far a ead of t eir time. In t e case of 'avid $s ford, ;.pacefli! t Aan"al= 6ow Yo" 9o"ld <e a To"rist in .pace 8it in Twenty Years> ,1994- t e timin! was not #"ite ri! t b"t t e lon!7term prediction mi! t be. $s ford is now t e mana!in! director of <ristol .paceplanes.

s are information on precisely ow many n"mbers t ere are of partic"lar species of flora and fa"na. T is is a totally different world in t at respect from t e milie" in w ic a biolo!ist s"c as $rc ie 9arr wrote ;6andbook of T"rtles> on sea t"rtles in 19F3, w ic , alon! wit t e rest of is work, was an important factor in t e lon!7s"rvival of Testudo mydas311. 8e can, if we c oose, "se t e clicks of o"r mo"se to s"pport t e clicks of t e sperm w ale ,I*9N stat"s= @*- and, a!ain, if we c oose to create it, we face t e potential of a new 5innaean ,or +abrici"s7ian- a!e of ta%onomy313 partic"larly driven by widespread access to reso"rces s"c as Aorp obank. 0ic ard 9onniff in The Smithsonian, &"ly7$"!"st 3414, pointed o"t t at we are livin! in a period t at some nat"ralists are callin! ;a new a!e of discovery> wit t e n"mber of species bein! discovered today comparin! favo"rably to any time since t e mid71C44s31:. &anine <eny"s asserst t at o"r knowled!e of biolo!y is do"blin! every five years. T ere is certainly a vast frontier of knowled!e to e%plore, since it is estimated t at t ere are between 14 million and F4 million animal and plant species in t e world, w ilst so far we ave described somet in! in t e order of 1.9 million. $ppro%imately 34,444 new species are discovered eac year, wit some of t e most intri!"in! bein! e%tremop iles or creat"res t at can s"rvive at e%tremes of eat or cold or end"re radiation31E. $lt o"! it is often rat er cas"ally ass"med t at we ave now mapped o"t essentially all t e forms of life on t is planet, we may yet see s ifts and advances of t e ilk of $ntoine van 5ee"wen oek's discovery of micro7 or!anisms in 1GCF as a res"lt of t e microscope revol"tion and we may see o"r "nderstandin! of life e%panded beyond its establis ed dimensions. 'avid Toomey, ;8eird 5ife> ,341:- disc"sses t e searc for forms of life t at may be very different from t ose we ave traditionally "nderstood everyw ere from possible Aartian permafrost to t e ammonia oceans of &"piter's moons or t e cr"sts of ne"tron stars. T is e%pansion of "nderstandin! and ab"ndance of new ideas and information r"ns in parallel wit developments in t e sp ere of nat"ral istory31F, wit a new dinosa"r species bein! named every 1.F weeks31G and a so"rce s"c as t e 2aleobiolo!y 'atabase actin! as a vast arc ive and treas"re trove31C. New species of livin! creat"res are even bein! discovered in entire !eo!rap ical areas t at were previo"sly "nknown – an e%ample bein! Ao"nt Aab" in Ao)ambi#"e, w ic was known only to locals before bein! discovered via 1oo!le Aaps in 344F. .ince 344F, scientists at (ew 1ardens ave identified 13G species of bird and 3F4 species of b"tterfly on Aab"31?. 2ro/ects s"c as 1allica, $nimal<ase, t e Encyclopedia of 5ife, t e 9ens"s
311 .ee for instance +rederick 'avis, ;T e Aan 8 o .aved .ea T"rtles= $rc ie 9arr and t e Dri!ins of 9onservation> ,344C313 $ndrew 2olas)ek, ;.ystema Nat"rae 3F4 – t e 5innaean $rk> ,3414-. $lso t ere are many insi! ts into t e world of cyberta%onomy in B"entin 8 eeler, ;T e New Ta%onomy> ,344?-. 31: &"st anecdotally, on t e very day t at I wrote t is t ere was news anno"nced t at t e sea snail /olutopsius scotiae and t e clam Thyasira scotiae ad been discovered in deep water off .cotland. $s I kept on writin! t ey kept on comin!= on &an"ary 341E a team from D io .tate led by Aaryme!an 'aly declared t at a new species of anemone ,)dwardsiella andrillae- ad been discovered in $ntarctica. Dn 19t &an"ary 341E a team led by &iri Aoravec declared in a paper in t e /o"rnal 0oo 1eys t at a new species of red toad, 2hinella yun.a, ad been discovered in t e 2er"vian $ndes. In 341E researc ers discovered a new species of river dolp in in <ra)il, t e Ara.uaina boto, t e first s"c findin! since t e Chinese bai3i in 191? ,w ic went e%tinct in 344G-. I co"ld !o on listin! e%amples over time, b"t !iven t at t ey are bein! listed at /o"rnals and social networkin! sites, s"c an enterprise does not seem profitable. 31E $n e%ample bein! t e 341: discovery of bacteria t at were livin! "nder t e ice in $ntarctica or microbial life forms in t e Aariana Trenc , t e deepst spot on Eart . 31F In 341: it was reported t at researc ers at t e Dld 'ominion *niversity in @ir!inia ad discovered fossil remains of sin!le cell microbes in sandstone rock in western $"stralia t at may be t e oldest ever fo"nd, wit an a!e of nearly :.F billion years. 31G 0ic ard <"tler, t, :rd &an"ary 341E. 31C D"r "nderstandin! of evol"tion is of co"rse improvin! markedly and rapidly= in 344:, for instance, remains from w at is believed to be t e oldest primate t at lived FF million years a!o, t e Archicebus achilles, were discovered. T e ve%ed #"estion of a 'missin! link' between primates and "mans may or may not ave been solved by t e discovery of remains of a EC million year old primate, 'arwinius massillae, in 3449. 31? <rendan D'9onnor, T e 'aily 'ot, :rd &an"ary 341E.

of Aarine 5ife, t e International <arcode of 5ife 2ro/ect, 8ikispecies, t e Tree of 5ife web pro/ect, t e .pecies $nalyst 2ro/ect, <ird.o"rce319, $nt8eb334, t e 1lobal <iodiversity Information +acility, &oel .atore's <iodiversity portrait pro/ect and t e <iodiversity 6erita!e 5ibrary e%pand t at new frontier in o"r "nderstandin!, knowled!e, classification and potential stewards ip of t e nat"ral world. In doin! so, we can add to t e list of s"ccessf"l conservation efforts and salva!ed species s"c as t e dwarf fo% t at resides on 9alifornia's 9 annel Islands w ic came back from t e brink of e%tinction in t e mid 1994s and as prospered since. T e nat"ral world is one frontier in t is new 'a!e of discovery' 331, /"st as t e o"ter world of t e "niverse is anot er frontier. It may be t e case t at we discover fascinatin! interconnections between t e world beyond Eart and life "pon it 333 7 for e%ample between solar cycles and (ondratiev waves or t e movement of stock markets33: ,as well as, of co"rse, t e relations ip between solar cycles and lon! term eart ly climactic c an!es- 33E. D"r knowled!e as "nder!one vast increases in a very s ort space of istorical time 33FH it was only in t e 1934s, for e%ample, t at Edwin 6"bble "sed 9ep eid variable stars to calc"late t e distance of t e $ndromeda neb"la ,as it was t en known- from Eart and so proved t at it was a separate !ala%y and not part of t e Ailky 8ay. 0ecently, in 1993, t e first e%oplanet was discovered ,orbitin! a p"lsar- and in 199F t e first e%oplanet orbitin! a star like t e s"n was discovered ,F1 2e!asi-. $t t e time of writin!, 14FG e%oplanets in ?43 planetary systems ave been "neart ed33G. Aeanw ile in t e 3444s t ere was a raft of important discoveries s"c as t e dwarf planets Eris, Aakemake and 6a"mea. 8e ave a vast amo"nt of f"rt er work to do in t is sp ere, since t ere are at least 144 billion planets in t e Ailky 8ay wit at least one planet per star and t e possibility of trillions of 'ro!"e planets' w ic are not bo"nd to any star33C. $ccordin! to 2eti!"ra, 6oward and Aarcy, ;2revalence of Eart 7si)e planets orbitin! ."n7like stars> ,341:-, it is estimated t at 33L of s"n7like stars arbo"r Eart 7like planets orbitin! in t eir abitable )ones. In t e Ailky 8ay alone t ere may be at least ?.? billion Eart 7like planets. <eyond o"r !ala%y, t ere is a !reat deal more to discover= t e $ndromeda 1ala%y as an estimated 1 trillion stars and t ere are ot er !ala%ies w ic by t emselves are far lar!er t an t e :4 !ala%ies t at comprise o"r local cl"ster of !ala%ies – for e%ample I9 1141 w ic is estimated to ave 144 trillion stars. T ere may in fact be at least F44 billion !ala%ies in t e "niverse and t e possibility of at least 14 trillion Eart 7like planets in t e observable "niverse as a w ole33?. D"r ori)ons are constantly bein! e%panded ere, wit t e discovery in Dctober 341:, for e%ample, of )?X1N'XF39G w ic is t e most distant !ala%y yet "ncovered ,at a distance of aro"nd
319 334 331 &ames 5evitt, ;9onservation in t e Internet $!e= T reats and Dpport"nities> ,3443, p.FAartin 0ap ael and 0andy Aolina, ;9onservation of 0are or 5ittle7(nown .pecies> ,344C, p.CGIn an interview wit t e <<9 on 1:t Aay 341:, &.9rai! @enter ar!"ed t at in t e field of !enetics we c"rrently know abo"t 1L of w at we will "tlimately know. 333 $n interestin! e%ample is t e discovery by t e Ice Ne"trino Dbservatory of two ne"trino effects t at ori!inated from beyond t e solar system, t e first definitive detections since 19?C, as reported by Nola Taylor 0edd,, 'ec 3?t 341:. 9onnections between life on Eart and w at appens in t e "niverse may be an aware w ere o"r "nderstandin! is c"rrently at t e e#"ivalent of baby steps. 33: .ee, for instance, t e work of &o n 6ampson. ."percomp"ters ave been "sed wit interestin! res"lts in t e c artin! of solar flares and solar storms s"c as t e 1?F9 9arrin!ton effect in order to discover w et er or not t ey ave discernable patterns in terms of fre#"ency and distrib"tion. T ey ave also been "sed in interestin! ways by people s"c as Tim 2almer of D%ford *niversity w o is "sin! t em to p"s forward stoc astic modellin! of comple% and non7linear systems s"c as climate. 33E +rit) @a ren olt and .ebastian 5"nin!, ;T e Ne!lected ."n> ,341:33F It is not at all lon! a!o t at t e 1Ct cent"ry arc bis op &ames *ss er, before 9 arles 5yell or &ames 6"tton, came "p wit is <ible7based calc"lation t at t e eart was created in E44E <9 so a!ain o"r knowled!e as e%panded radically in only a few cent"ries. T is is disc"ssed in &on T"rney, ;T e 0o"! 1"ide to t e +"t"re> ,3414-. 8 ere we mi! t be in t ree or fo"r or five cent"ries' time is probably far beyond my ima!ination. 33G $s an e%ample of t e pace of c an!e ere, in +ebr"ary 341E it was anno"nced t at analysis of (epler data ad "neart ed C1F new e%oplanets orbitin! :4F stars. 33C <<9 341:. 33? 0T, ;'1oldilocks 1ala%y'= .cientists estimate ?.? billion planets '/"st ri! t' for life, F t November 341:

1:.1 billion li! t years from Eart -339. T is constant e%pansion of o"r ori)ons raises profo"nd #"estions, and c allen!es in terms of discovery, over t e possibility of ot er forms of life in t e "niverse w ic stim"late "s to e%plore even f"rt er t an t e int"itions of 9 ristian 6"y!ens and to test t e view propo"nded by T ales of Ailet"s and is followers t at t e "niverse is teemin! wit e%traterrestrial life . +"rt ermore, it was only in 19C4, t ro"! t e work of t e astronomer @era 0"bin, t at we discovered t e concept and e%istence of dark matter, w ic is t o"! t to make "p somet in! in t e order of 3GL of t e "niverse ,wit G?.:L of it bein! composed of dark matter-. 0esearc in t e field of dark matter and dark ener!y may ave profo"nd ramifications for o"r man"fact"rin! and enterprises. $not er area of !rowin! knowled!e is t at of ne"tinos, wit information on i! 7ener!y ne"trinos from beyond o"r solar system ,beyond a #"adrillion electron volts- bein! assessed at t e Ice9"be laboratory in $ntarctica ,w ic was completed in 3414-3:4. T e first batc of information on t ese was only synt esised in 19?C. T e pace of c an!e is e%traordinary. 8 en t e .loan 'i!ital .ky ."rvey be!an in 3444, its telescope in New Ae%ico collected more data in its first few weeks t an ad been amassed in t e entire istory of astronomy. <y 3414 its arc ive was filled wit 1E4 terabytes of information. 6owever, w en a s"ccessor, t e 5ar!e .ynoptic ."rvey Telescope in 9 ile, comes on stream in 341G it will ac#"ire t at vol"me of data every five days 3:1. 8 en t e radio telescope t e .#"are (ilometre $rray comes is completed in 341G it will collect twice as m"c information every day as is !enerated on t e entire web, and it will s"rvey t e sky somew ere in t e order of ten t o"sand times faster t an ever before. 'evelopments in t e field ave also been accelerated by crowdso"rcin! pro/ects s"c as 1ala%y Poo, r"n by Pooniverse3:3 w ere members of t e p"blic ave been invited to contrib"te to t e morp olo!ical classification of lar!e n"mbers of !ala%ies ,w ic as also been responsible for t e el"cidation of new !ala%ies called '!reen pea !ala%ies' w ere stars are formin! faster t an at almost any ot er point in t e "niverse, and as discovered w at is believed to be t e first ever e%ample of a #"asar mirror, an enormo"s clo"d of !as tens of t o"sands of li! t years in diameter t at is eated by li! t from a nearby #"asar- 3::. T is is similar to t e N$.$ 9lickworkers pro/ect w ere several vol"nteers were enlisted to identify craters in Aars ima!es. $not er way t e field as opened "p is t e pro/ect by *win!" to crowdso"rce a citi)en's map of t e previo"sly F44,444 "nnamed craters on Aars and also to provide a database of names for e%oplanets "sin! a votin! system to meas"re overall pop"larity ,once a name attains 1,444 votes, t e person w o proposed it can c oose w ic e%oplanet t ey want it to be attac ed to-. D"r searc for life elsew ere in t e "niverse, or at least for t e potential fo"ndations to s"pport it ,s"c as t e presence of water in li#"id form- is also "nder!oin! a profo"nd transformation – wit an e%ample bein! t e discovery by t e E"ropean .pace $!ency's 6ersc el .pace Dbservatory in &an"ary 341E t at t e dwarf planet 9eres as two so"rces of water vapo"r spewin! abo"t si% kilo!rams of water per second, t e discovery by N$.$'s 9assini in 3413 of a likely "nder!ro"nd water ocean on .at"rn's lar!est moon Titan, or t e discovery in 3411 by N$.$'s Aars 0over t at t ere was evidence of an ancient flow of water on t e planet's Endeavo"r crater ,wit t e likeli ood of t e water activity on Aars bein! condensed into t e first billion years of t e planet's istory-. $!ain and a!ain o"r period is one of t e e%tension of o"r knowled!e and t e
339"kJscienceJspaceJ"niverseJsi! tsJ!ala%ies observes t at t is !ala%y appears to "s ow it was only C44 million years after t e <i! <an!, w en t e "niverse was only FL of its c"rrent a!e of 1:.? billion years. It prod"ces stars at t e p enomenal rate of aro"nd :44 s"ns per year in mass and as a reds ift of C.F1. 3:4 $lan <oyle, N<9 News, 31st November 341:. 3:1 @iktor Aayer7.c onber!er and (ennet 9"kier, ;<i! 'ata= $ 0evol"tion T at 8ill Transform 6ow 8e 5ive, 8ork and T ink> ,341:, p.C3:3 In &an"ary 341E t e Pooniverse team ad /"st passed 14,444 classifications on anot er pro/ect, t at of c"ratin! and arc ivin! diaries of soldiers from t e +irst 8orld 8ar. In t e same mont t e 1ala%y Poo pro/ect reac ed a spike of 1,444,444 classifications per o"r. 3:: 'isc"ssed by Aic ael Nielsen, ;0einventin! 'iscovery= T e New Era of Networked .cience> ,3414-

p"s in! back of frontiers= in 341E a team at t e $"stralian National *niversity claimed to ave discovered t e oldest star yet fo"nd, wit an a!e of aro"nd 1:.G billion years old ,/"st a few "ndred million after t e <i! <an!-. &"st as 8illiam &ames s"!!ested t at we live in a m"ltiverse rat er t an a "niverse, per aps – !iven o"r ever increasin! "nderstandin! of t e cosmos – we s o"ld refer to o"r era as a world of post71"tenber! !ala%ies rat er t an a sin!"lar !ala%y. Dne day, we may even ave to rewrite t e entirety of "man istory by inte!ratin! transformations on Eart wit t ose in ot er parts of t e "niverse ,possibly incl"din! infl"ences from ot er forms of life t at we ave it erto not been conscio"s of- b"t at t e sta!e of writin! t at is a matter for con/ect"re rat er t an empirical observation ,"nless one p"ts credence in t e field of "folo!y, of co"rse-. D"r knowled!e of t e o"ter world is, t erefore, "nder!oin! a profo"nd transformation 3:E, and we face t e opport"nity – and indeed c oice – to translate t is into practical action, from species conservation to space travel, as well as t e moral c oice over w et er or not we brin! a 'robo sapiens'3:F species ,t at in some way f"ses t e "man and t e mac ine- or ot er new species into bein!3:G. 8e ave t e opport"nity to "se t e information revol"tion to set "p t e e#"ivalent of stock markets of species so t at we can more acc"rately track and monitor c"rrent levels and apply ener!y in conservation w ere it is most needed 3:C – for e%ample wit animals t at are listed on t e I*9N 0ed 5ist of T reatened .pecies. 6ere, improved #"antification correlated to practical action in t e field of conservation t at links to!et er 'smart mobs' and or!anisations like t e 2eople's Tr"st for Endan!ered .pecies or t e <at 9onservation Tr"st and co"ld operate in a similar fas ion to t e
3:E 2er aps !reat f"rt er advances and f"ndamental paradi!m s ifts lie a ead in, say, o"r knowled!e of p ysics ,partic"larly !iven (arl 2opperNs modification of +rancis <aconian scientific met od and t e idea of t e centrality of falsification-, t o"! Aic io (ak", ;2 ysics of t e Impossible= $ .cientific E%ploration into t e 8orld of 2 asers, +orce +ields, Teleportation and Time Travel> ,344?- points o"t t at we ave arrived at w at may be essentially complete "nderstandin! of t e basic laws of forty t ree orders of ma!nit"de, from t e interior of t e proton o"t to t e e%pandin! "niverse. T ere are per aps certain areas of knowled!e w ere we ave reac ed w at are essentially 'final answers' ,if s"c t in!s are possible- and t e frontier of o"r knowled!e is t"rnin! t at compre ension into practical actions and entities. 8 et er t e Einsteinian dream of a t eory of everyt in! proves to be possible or f"ndamentally beyond t e limits of t e ontolo!ical and t e epistemolo!ical is of co"rse an on!oin! matter of contention. +"rt ermore, it is important to remember t at 5ord (elvin ad declared in 1944 t at ;T ere is not in! new to be discovered in p ysics now. $ll t at remains is more and more precise meas"rement.> $!ain, in 2opper's terms, !iven t e importance of falsification, it mi! t be t e case t at t ere is always somet in! new to discover – or rat er, somet in! old to "ndiscover. 3:F Dr per aps, in t e lan!"a!e of 6ans 6olstein, ' omo cybernetic"s'. 3:G 2eter Aen)el and +ait ''$l"isio, ;0obo .apiens= Evol"tion of a New .pecies> ,3441-. T e idea of "s en!ineerin! an evol"tionary s ift from t e "man to t e post "man or trans "man is one of t e most important moral #"estions of o"r times. It raises t e possibility t at omo sapiens mi! t end "p, in istorical terms, akin to a Neandert al or omo abilis or omo erect"s, and be "s"rped by a form of life t at mer!es t e "man and t e tec nolo!ical. 8 et er we s o"ld mi% t e two, or keep tec nolo!y as a separate e%ternal ob/ect from t e "man s"b/ect, is a #"estion of bo"ndaries t at is "r!ent. $t some sta!e, devices implanted into o"r bodies co"ld become as "bi#"ito"s as t e smartp one, and mi! t lead to t e creation of a f"ndamentally different form of "man bein!. $lternatively, we mi! t decide collectively t at s"c a pat is a dan!ero"s one t at s o"ld not be adopted. T e ever acceleratin! pace of tec nolo!ical c an!e in t is area means t at we ave an "r!ent need for a wise, informed, caref"l, rational and sensible debate and disco"rse on precisely w ere t e moral and pra!matic bo"ndaries lie, and w at lines s o"ld not be crossed or trans!ressed. Df co"rse, t ere ave already been all sorts of advancements in t is field already – everyt in! from coc lear implants to prost etic limbs – b"t mostly limited so far to compensations for people w o ave lost normal f"nctionin! of one kind or anot er rat er t an a"!mentations desi!ned to c an!e a normally f"nctionin! body or brain by f"sin! it in some way wit mac inery. +or Nic olas $!ar, ;6"manity's End= 8 y 8e . o"ld 0e/ect 0adical En ancement> ,3411-, any f"rt er /o"rneyin! down t e pat of 'radical en ancement' is one t at will brin! too m"c of a polarisation and divide, wit t ere bein! ;ne%t to no c ance t at an "nen anced "man intellect will o"t7t ink a mac ine mind desi!ned to process information a million times faster t an it.> In t is view, we ave o"r very "manity to lose, o"twei! in! w atever advancements mi! t be made as a res"lt. 3:C T is obvio"sly e%tends to a specific foc"s in certain !eo!rap ical areas. $ppro%imately F4L of all endan!ered species are estimated to live in rainforestH t e $ma)on is t e lar!est rainforest on Eart w ic as lost aro"nd 1CL of its covera!e in t e last cent"ry d"e to deforestation.

correlation between information and vario"s operations and actions in t e evol"tion of smart ctities3:?. $n interestin! e%ample, t o"! one t at is c"rrently based "pon preservation of "man life from predators rat er t an conservation, is t e ."rf 5ife .avin! 8estern $"stralia's ,.5.8$Twitter +eed w ic "ses transmitters attac ed to :34 s arks in order to monitor t eir locations and warn people of t eir presence3:9. .imilar developments incl"de t e robotic sea animals "sed by t e <<9 to film dolp ins, s"c as t e .py 'olp in or .py Na"til"s, or t e micro7sensors ,3.Fmm by 3.Fmm 0adio +re#"ency Identification ob/ects- attac ed to F,444 bees by 9.I0D and t e *niversity of Tasmania to deepen t e analysis of t e ca"ses of colony collapse disorder. T ere may be ot er beneficent conse#"ences from s"c researc , for e%ample t e discovery of t e reason for t e @ formation of flyin! birds t at was attained from a team from t e 0oyal @eterinary 9olle!e in 5ondon w ose primary task was t e conservation of nort ern bald ibises. T ere are, of co"rse, ve%ed et ical #"estions ere abo"t t e "se of tec nolo!ies s"c as embedded sensors in animals, w ic parallel t e et ical #"estions over t e cybor!isation anticipated in post "manism or trans "manism, partic"larly over t e de!ree to w ic we s o"ld keep t e world of tec nolo!y ,w at (evin (elly calls t e 'tec ni"m'- and t e nat"ral world separate. T is is partic"larly t e case in t e !rowt of w at is termed a 'bio ybrid' society, wit t e mi%t"re of animals and robots. $n e%ample ere is t e 5E*00E pro/ect w ere Ins<ots, w ic were small robots soaked wit cockroac p eremones, were imp"ted into cockroac pop"lations and act"ally enco"ra!ed t em to c an!e t eir be avio"rs. $ similar pro/ect is t e $..I..Ibf wit )ebrafis 3E4. $lto"! t ere are clearly et ical and moral iss"es in t is sp ere, t e potential for #"antification of species' n"mbers and t eir movements and positions leads to t e possibility of radically different ways of monitorin! species levels and avoidin! e%tinctions. If we can "se o"r collective mat ematical intelli!ence to create e%traordinary new forms of al!orit mic tradin! we can of co"rse "se it to tri!!er investment of reso"rces and ener!y to save partic"lar species from t e fate of everyt in! from t e dodo or win!less awk to, in t is decade, everyt in! from t e Pestos skipper b"tterfly to t e 0ockland !rass skipper b"tterfly, t e 8estern <lack 0 ino, t e $laotra 1rebe, t e Eastern 9o"!ar, t e &apanese 0iver Dtter, t e 2inta Island Tortoise or t e +ormosan clo"ded leopard.. It is not diffic"lt to envisa!e, for e%ample, t at one area of evol"tion of social networkin! wo"ld be a site w ere people can not only s are information on partic"lar species and n"mbers in t eir News +eeds, b"t also link to practical actions t at people can take to elp preserve t em. T e dra!onfly effect3E1 co"ld t erefore be "sed to conserve n"mbers of dra!onflies. 'o"! En!elbart's mo"se invention co"ld be "sed to monitor and conserve mice. T e e%ponential power of 'crowdso"rcin!' ,a term invented by &eff 6owe in 344G- 3E3 can be "sed to ac ieve far more t an t e actions of isolated individ"als alone, partic"larly !iven t e E.27like 'ambient awareness' of ot ers' c oices and decisions described by 9live T ompson, ;.marter T an Yo" T ink= 6ow Tec nolo!y is 9 an!in! D"r Ainds for t e <etter> ,341:-. $n interestin! f"sion of social
3:? $s one e%ample w ere 'smartness' can be a part of conservation of reso"rces, t e Tvili! t street li! t system !enerates "p to ?4L ener!y savin!s by monitorin! areas w ere t ere is an absence of people and t en lowerin! t e level of li! tin! as a res"lt. 3:9 I personally do not claim to be beyond t e fear of a s ark attack on a personal basis, b"t to p"t t e matter in conte%t it is important to remember t at appro%imately 144 million s arks are killed by "mans eac year, and t ere are per aps aro"nd twelve "mans killed by s arks per year – as displayed in &oe 9 ernov and 0obin 0ic ards's infor!ap ic. 3E4 Emily $nskes, ;$nimals <ow to T eir Aec anical Dverlords>, !autilus, 1:t +ebr"ary 341E 3E1 &ennifer $aker and $ndy .mit , ;T e 'ra!onfly Effect= B"ick, Effective and 2owerf"l 8ays to *se .ocial Aedia to 'rive .ocial 9 an!e> ,3414-. Aars allin! t e reso"rces and ener!y of t e web in t is way seems partic"larly apt !iven t e connections between o"r tec nolo!ies and biolo!ical str"ct"res and systems. $s an e%ample, &"ssi 2arikka, ;Insect Aedia= $n $rc aeolo!y of $nimals and Tec nolo!y> ,3414- disc"sses t e analo!ies between o"r tec nolo!y and insect systems – swarms, ives, webs, distrib"ted intelli!ence and of co"rse t e "bi#"ito"s idea of a ' ive mind'. 3E3 E%amples of t e ac ievements of crowdso"rcin! co"ld take "p many vol"mes. Dne e%ample is t e .mit sonian di!itral transcription pro/ect w ic in 341E ad 3,1F9 members involved.

networkin! and conservation was &ennifer &ac#"et's +is book pro/ect. $n interestin! pro/ect in t is conte%t is t at of .cratc pads w ic is created by t e Nat"ral 6istory A"se"m in 5ondon. Even a decade a!o, t e level of information t at somebody co"ld attain on a partic"lar endan!ered species was a mere fraction of w at it is today, and w at it co"ld be tomorrow, partic"larly w en "sin! '!reen' searc en!ines s"c as Ecosia ,w o plant trees in <ra)il correlated to t e n"mber of searc es people la"nc on t eir en!ine-, 1reen Aaven, Eco.earc and 1oodTree. Df co"rse t ere is t e dan!er t at we accelerate t e m"ltiplication of si!nifiers /"st as t e s"pply of w at t ey si!nify red"ce in reality – b"t a!ain, on t e ot er side of t e e#"ation, t e #"estion is ow we apply o"r information e%pansion to o"r narratives and ow t ese affect t e way in w ic we be ave. $n ab"ndance of information on problems of scarcity is not a problem, b"t is instead a so"rce of empowerment to effective action. $!ain t ere is t e potential of m"ltiplayer !amification as a sp"r to action, wit an e%ample s"c as t e 3449 1ban!a Poo !ame for P"ric Poo t at asked participants to actively save endan!ered species and brin! t em back to a )oo, or t e !ame +ra%in"s developed by botanists in association wit !ames company Team 9ooper w ic e%plores t e #"estion of resistance of t e common as tree, Fra4inus e4celsior, to t e f"n!"s Chalara fra4inea. It is soberin! to discover t e dama!e done to o"r nat"ral environment by to%ins s"c as dio%ins and 29<s. 8e ave, t "s far, created aro"nd ?4,444 to%ins from ydrocarbons and t ese are now widely distrib"ted across o"r planet. It is also soberin! t at Eart Dvers oot 'ay, w ic is conceived by t e 1lobal +ootprint Network and t e New Economics +o"ndation to be t e date w en "manity as e% a"sted nat"re's b"d!et for t e year, as come earlier and earlier. 8 en it was first calc"lated in 199: it was determined to be on 31 Dctober. In 341: it was 34stt $"!"st. Nonet eless, t e e%istence of a meas"rement s"c as t is, imperfect t o"! it is, provides "s wit a f"rt er layer in terms of t e attempt to #"antify o"r position vis7a7vis t e nat"ral world. $ccordin! to t is meas"re, we are on a yearly basis in t e kind of ecolo!ical debt described by $ndrew .imms. 6owever, a!ain, we face t e #"estion of ow we "se o"r c"rrent information revol"tion. <y 3144, for instance, we may be i! ly advanced in terms of t e ability to #"antify t e de!ree to w ic we are in overall ecolo!ical debt or, indeed, credit3E:. In a world w ere any teena!er in t e world wit an internet connection can a"to7didactically do a de!ree in statistics wit o"t needin! to enroll in a "niversity and wrack "p t"ition fees, t e #"estion of ow we n"merically rate biodiversity, and o"r efforts to s"stain it, can potentially c an!e o"t of all reco!nition d"rin! t e co"rse of t is cent"ry 3EE. 8e may see advancements beyond traditional metrics s"c as 1ross National 2rod"ct or 1ross 'omestic 2rod"ct3EF wit statistical systems s"c as t e New Economics +o"ndation's Inde% of ."stainable Economic 8ell7<ein! ,I.E8- alon! wit ot er systems s"c as t e *nited Nations's 6"man 'evelopment Inde% as well as barometers of s"c ,possibly intan!ible- entities as appiness. 'ependin! on o"r c oices3EG, we mi! t reac a point w ere eac year we are able to move
3E: In 341: t e Inter!overnmental 2anel on 9limate 9 an!e ,I299- pe!!ed t e total amo"nt t e world can afford to emit at 1,444 billion metric "nits of carbon. $s of 341E, appro%imately F:1 billion metric tons of t is total 'ener!y b"d!et' as been taken "p, accordin! to &eff .pross, Climate Pro.ress, 1Ct &an"ary 341E. <y t e end of t is cent"ry we may ave !one t ro"! a radical s ift in o"r ability to collate s"c fi!"res and o"r ability to work wit in overall ecolo!ical b"d!ets. It is possible at t e moment, for e%ample, to prod"ce carbon footprint maps at t e level of a detail of a )ipcode ,or postcode in t e *(-. Aappin! is also catalysin! t e renewable ener!y revol"tion, wit pro/ects s"c as t e 1lobal $tlas for .olar and 8ind or t e 8orld <ank 0enewable Ener!y Aappin! 2ro!ramme la"nc ed in 341:. 3EE In t e previo"s work I e%plored to an e%tent some of t e ramifications of t e new era in terms of ed"cation. $n interestin! e%ample in t is sp ere is t e 3413 e%periment by t e AIT Aedia 5ab w ere t ey !ave pre7loaded tablets to primary a!e c ildren in Et iopia wit o"t instr"ctions or teac ers, w ic led to remarkable res"lts in terms of t e lessons learnt by t e c ildren. 3EF &osep .ti!lit), $martya .en and &ean72a"l +ito"ssi, ;Ais7Aeas"rin! D"r 5ives= 8 y 1'2 doesn't add "p> ,3414-. 3EG 'avid 8einber!er, ;Too <i! to (now> ,3413- points o"t t at in t e a!e of searc en!ines, o"r filters do not

into a position of ecolo!ical credit rat er t an debt t ro"! an improved ability to a"dit everyt in! from o"r carbon footprint to t e de!ree to w ic we ave overs ot t e carryin! capacity of o"r planet, to "se t e term associated wit t e work of 8illiam 9atton in 19?4. 8e co"ld see a paradi!m s ift in s"c calc"lations akin to t e rise of do"ble entry acco"ntin! from t e 1: cent"ry onwardst . T is is partic"larly t e case !iven t e scope for e%traordinary advancement in mat ematics in t e a!e of 8olfram $lp a t at is implicit in t e rise of t e processin! power of comp"ters, wit everyt in! from t e sol"tion to t e 0obbins con/ect"re in 199G to t e discovery of t e E? Aersenne prime n"mber ,wit over 1C million decimals- in &an"ary 341: "nder t e a"spices of t e 1reat Internet Aersenne 2rime .earc ,1IA2.- w ic is yet anot er e%ample of t e c"m"lative power of distrib"ted comp"tin!t . $ f"rt er cr"cial e%ample as been t e 2olymat 2ro/ects w ic ori!inated wit Tim 1owers and Terence Tao in 3449 and ave foc"sed collaborative attention on t e density version of t e 6ales7&ewett t eorem, Aoser n"mbers for low dimensions, and t e Erdos discrepancy, amon! ot er ve%ed areas of e%ploration. Dne wonders #"ite ow lon! t e seven millenni"m problems in mat ematics will remain "nsolved in t e di!ital era ,beyond 1ri!ori 2erelman's sol"tion to t e 2oincare con/ect"re- 3EC, as /"st one e%ample of t e topo!rap y of t is partic"lar frontier of knowled!e, as well as problems s"c as t e abc con/ect"re w ic may ave been solved by t e &apanese mat ematician . inic i Aoc i)"ki in 3413 , is proofs are c"rrently bein! analysed by ot er mat ematicians-. If Ernst 0enan was ri! t t at in is time t e ;simplest sc oolboy> was in possession of facts for w ic $rc imedes wo"ld ave sacrificed is life, ow m"c more co"ld t is be t e case in one "ndred, one t o"sand or one million years from now ,or an ima!inary n"mber of years-O 3E? D"r period is one of e%traordinary transitions in scale in terms of #"antification= as one e%ample, in 1E44 Aad ava of .an!ama!rama calc"lated pi to t irteen decimal places ,to :.1E1F93GF:F?9C-. T is was e%tended to t irty7five by 5"dolp van 9e"len two "ndred years later, a process w ic took im most of is life to ac ieve. T e a!e of comp"terisation as transformed t is frontier completely – in 19E9 '.+.+er!"son "sed a desk calc"lator to arrive at /"st over one t o"sand di!itsH by 19?9 it reac ed over one billion, by 199C ,t e year before 'arren $ronofsky's film- more t an
filter o"t b"t, instead, filter forward. T is raises t e #"estion of w at we perceive of as o"r priorities. Information yper7ab"ndance and t e era of 0eadin! 3.4 in t e words of &ason Aerkoski does not precl"de t e #"estion of prioritisation b"t, if anyt in!, s arpens it. t $s an e%ample, Aat is 8ackerna!el and 8illiam 0ees, ;D"r Ecolo!ical +ootprint= 0ed"cin! 6"man Impact on Eart > ,199G, p.3- cite t e calc"lation by .tanford *niversity biolo!ist 2eter @ito"sek and collea!"es in 19?G t at at t at point "man activities were appropriatin!, eit er directly or indirectly, E4L of t e prod"cts of terrestrial p otosynt esis, w ile "man e%ploitation of t e continental s elves was reac in! a similar proportion.. Dver t e co"rse of t is cent"ry, if we c oose to do so, it will be possible to meas"re s"c sit"ations wit ever !reater precision, and to rate o"r pro!ress in red"cin! t e rate of depletion of nat"ral reso"rces and o"r advances in alternatives. t T ere is an interestin! interface between works of individ"al inspiration s"c as t at by Yitan! P an! and t e new e%ponential power of crowdso"rcin! and even faster comp"tin!. $ndrei Tarkovsky viewed solit"de as absol"tely essential to is art, and it is disc"ssed in $nt ony .torr, ;.olit"de= $ 0et"rn to t e .elf> ,19??-. Today, we face t e possibility of a synt esis of t e two – a yper7connected solit"de, or yper7alone interpersonality. Not #"ite #"otin! 0obert 2"tnam, one can bowl alone, and at t e same time bowl wit billions of ot er interconnected people. 3EC $nd, it was anno"nced ,b"t "nconfirmed- in &an"ary 341E, A"k tarbai Dtelbayev's sol"tion to t e Navier7 .tokes e#"ations. 3E? T is is partic"larly t e case if we mana!e to s"ccessf"lly reform"late o"r instit"tions for t e a!e in w ic we live. 9at y 'avidson, ;Now Yo" .ee It= 6ow t e <rain .cience of $ttention 8ill Transform t e 8ay 8e 5ive, 8ork, and 5earn> , 3411- ar!"es t at many of o"r instit"tions, partic"larly ed"cationally, are st"ck in a 34 t cent"ry paradi!m w ic is fo"nded on t e idea t at ;completin! one task before startin! anot er one is t e ro"te to s"ccess.> Instead s e p"ts forward t e importance of m"ltitaskin! attention, since o"r ;di!ital a!e SisT str"ct"red wit o"t anyt in! like a central node broadcastin! one stream of information t at we pay attention to at any !iven moment.> $s observed by ttp=JJwww.onlineco", it was only in 19G4 t at t e first comp"ter7assisted instr"ction system, 25$TD, was developed at t e *niversity of Illinois to provide co"rsework at more t an 1444 terminals, so we are only a relatively s ort period of time into t is partic"lar period of ed"cational reformation.

fifty billion, by 3449 over two trillion, and, as of 3? 'ecember 341:, 13 trillion ,accordin! to $le%ander &.Yee and . i!er" (ondo-. Aeanw ile, work by .tan .c ein and &ames 1ayed on 1oldber!7type poly edra p"blis ed in +ebr"ary 341E "nveiled w at .c ein describes as t e ;first new class of conve%, e#"ilateral poly edra wit icosa edral symmetry in E44 years.> T e #"antification revol"tion may take "s in all sorts of directions in a very s ort space of istorical time t at f"ndamentally alters t e nat"re of t e worlds in w ic we live. It is possible to ima!ine, for e%ample, anot er sta!e of evol"tion of t e city in w ic cities ave lar!e information boards ,rat er similar to t e one in, say, Time .#"are in New York- w ic flow t ro"! massive amo"nts of information abo"t t e city and its performance as a space of conservation and care of p ysical reso"rces, per aps "sin! data accr"ed from so"rces s"c as t e E!! sensor w ic people can "se to detect t e readin!s of !ases s"c as nitro!en o%ide or carbon mono%ide o"tside t eir omes in order to assess overall poll"tion levels. T ere are already arbin!ers of t e kind of vis"alisations of lar!e amo"nts of a!!re!ated data in t e i2ad wall prod"ced by t e 9entre for $dvanced .patial $nalysis at *niversity 9olle!e, 5ondon. In a sense t is wo"ld contin"e t e lon! love affair between t e "rban and #"antificationH $ndrew 9rosby, ;T e Aeas"re of 0eality> ,199Cp"ts forward t e t esis t at t e rise of t e E"ropean city ,and indeed city7state- was, from its inception, intimately connected wit meas"rement and #"antification. 8e face, t erefore, t e potential to inte!rate e%ponential information e%pansiont wit p ysical and real life pro/ects and instit"tions t at elp to n"rt"re, foster, and save species of plants and animals from e%tinction. T is is /"st anot er e%ample of t e kind of transformations of everyday life t at c aracterise o"r era 3E9. National parks are one e%ample of spaces t at are defined as )ones of conservation, datin! from t e 1?C3 instit"tion of t e Yellowstone park in t e *.$. 8etlands are anot er, protected by t e 19C1 0amsar 9onvention. T e I*9N as si% cate!ories ran!in! from strict nat"re reserve or wilderness areas s"c as t e 'enali National 2ark in t e *.$ to mana!ed reso"rce protected areas s"c as t e 8"dan!s an scenic area in 9 ina. $lt o"! )oos in t is re!ard are controversial, and t ere is a profo"nd debate over t e liberty of animals and t e val"e of allowin! t em to live in t e wild, t ere are in t e order of :44 endan!ered species in )oos and t ere ave been s"ccessf"l preservations of animals s"c as t e bison, 2r)ewalski's orse 3F4, t e 'avid deer3F1, t e !olden lion tamarin, t e black7footed ferret, t e 9alifornian condor and t e $rabian ory%3F3. T ere are, in total, abo"t 1F44 botanic !ardens worldwide as well as between ?44 and 14,444 )oolo!ical parks ,dependin! on ow t ey are defined-3F:. $not er instit"tional e%ample is t at of seed banks, w ic follow t e pioneerin! work of Nikolai @avilov. T ere are abo"t 1:44 !enebanks in t e world. To!et er t ese old more t an : million samples of t o"sands of kinds of plants – t e *. National 2lant 1ermplasm .ystem in +ort 9ollins, 9olorado, stores seeds of abo"t 3F4,444 different varieties and species, w ile t e Aillenni"m .eed <ank 2ro/ect at t e 0oyal <otanic 1ardens in t e *( is c"rrently collectin! and storin! seeds from 14L of t e world's plant
t It is interestin! in t is re!ard t at t e internet itself is sometimes described as bein! akin to or a kind of ecosystem – for e%ample in $mo! ' amd ere, ;2rovider and 2eer .election in t e Evolvin! Internet Ecosystem> ,3449, p.C-. Dne wonders if partic"lar websites s"rvive and flo"ris on t e basis of a kind of nat"ral selection process. 2er aps websites abo"t 9 arles 'arwin or $lfred Nort 8allace mi! t prove to be partic"larly s"ccessf"l in t e lon!7term. 3E9 Nic olas 1ane in t e /o"rnal ;Information, 9omm"nication and .ociety> ,344F- ar!"ed t at t e information a!e is radically alterin! t e t ree main sp eres of social life – t e sp eres of prod"ction, cons"mption and comm"nication. 0at er t an simply addin! anot er layer to w at already e%isted, it is instead leadin! to far more f"ndamental metamorp oses. 3F4 6ere t e .pecies ."rvival 2lan of 19?1 is important, as disc"ssed in 'aniel 9o en, ;T e modern ark= savin! endan!ered species> ,199F3F1 Eric (at), ;Nat"re as ."b/ect= 6"man Dbli!ation and Nat"ral 9omm"nity> ,199C, p.193F3 . aron 1"yr"p, ;.tate of t e 8ild= $ 1lobal 2ortrait of 8ildlife, 8etlands and Dceans> ,344F, ,p.?3F: &o n .picer, ;<iodiversity> ,3449, p.1F1-

species, incl"din! all species native to t e co"ntry 3FE. T e .valbard seed bank in Norway ,also known by some as t e 'oomsday @a"lt- was created in 344?, "ses permafrost as part of its coolin! systems, and is one of t e world's lar!est seed banks wit a capacity of fo"r million accessions 3FF. T is also as ramifications for t e c allen!e of feedin! t e appro%imate ten or eleven billion "man bein!s w o may be alive in 3144 – an e%ample ere is t e International 0ice 0esearc Instit"te w ic was fo"nded in 19G4 and w ic was inte!ral in t e development of t e a!ric"lt"ral 1reen 0evol"tion in t e 19G4s and 19C4s. T e #"estion of a transition in t e s"stainable s"pply of food and water is, yet a!ain, at t e eart of t e #"estion of ab"ndance and scarcity, and in t is sense we m"st innovate in ways t at are akin to t e rise of t e a!ric"lt"ral revol"tion in t e Neolit ic period as it emer!ed from t e Aiddle Eastern ."merian cities abo"t F,F444 <2, in t e polyc"lt"ral s ift to crop rotation in t e ei! teent cent"ry $!ric"lt"ral and Ind"strial 0evol"tions, and in t e 19G4s and 19C4s 1reen 0evol"tion ,wit a sol"tion to t e problem of intensive water cons"mption w ic was a part of t at revol"tion-. +ood and water are of co"rse closely intertwined, since abo"t C4L of water "sed by people !oes into irri!ation w ic also as lon!7term effects in terms of land dama!e as a res"lt of salination ,3FL of 2akistan's c"ltivated land as been dama!ed in t is way- 3FG T e field of smart irri!ation is, t erefore, i! ly important, wit companies s"c as Netafirm or 6ydro2oint 'ata .ystems "sin! tec ni#"es s"c as drip irri!ation, membrane bio reactor and reverse osmosis tec nolo!y to eit er conserve water or to recycle it. 9ompanies s"c as Ta(a'" are also employin! sensors and bi! data clo"d analytic software to improve water networks and to eliminate wasta!e 3FC. 0ainwater arvestin! may become more and more an inte!ral part of everyday personal water cycles over t e co"rse of t is cent"ry and beyond. T e sit"ation ere is one is tr"ly radical, and provides c allen!es t at will test o"r ability to s are information and create better forms of or!anisation in order to avoid a decidedly "n!ry planet3F? 9olin T"d!e, ;.o . all 8e 0eap> ,344E- posits a sit"ation w ere t ere are somet in! in t e order of 1.: billion ectares "sed as arable land, providin! appro%imately 4.33 ectares ,or abo"t alf an acre- per person. In contrast, in 19G4 t e amo"nt of land "sed for arable prod"ction was ro"! ly t e same b"t t e pop"lation was aro"nd alf of w at it is now, so t at eac person ad 4.EC ectares. T e demandin! nat"re of t e task a ead is partic"larly t e case !iven t e '5ivestock 0evol"tion' from t e 19C4s onwards w ic as seen marked rises in t e cons"mption of meat in developin! co"ntries. <rian 1ardner, ;1lobal +ood +"t"res= +eedin! t e 8orld in 34F4> ,341:makes t e observation t at food prod"ction wo"ld need to increase in t e order of between F4L and 144L by 34F4 to feed t e increased level of pop"lation. @aclav .mil, ;+eedin! t e 8orld= $ 9 allen!e for t e 31 9ent"ry> ,3441, p.i%- ar!"es t at we wo"ld not be able to feed t e c"rrently e%istin! world pop"lation if Nort $merica's food s"pply per capita ,of w ic E4L is wasted- were to become t e !lobal norm ;in a world t at wo"ld be "sin! m"c i! er a!ric"lt"ral inp"ts wit no better efficiencies t an we do today.> +"rt ermore, 0"t!er van .anten, '/an ( oe and <ram @ermeer, ;34:4= Tec nolo!y T at 8ill 9 an!e t e 8orld> ,3414, p.3E- st make t e point t at t e amo"nt of fres water available per ead of pop"lation is /"st 3FL of w at it was in 19G4 3F9 ,&ames
3FE 3FF 3FG 3FC 3F? st 5inda <er!, ;Introd"ctory <otany= 2lants, 2eople and t e Environment> ,344C, p.1?FA Norma , 6 9 in, < 0eed, ;9onservation of Tropical 2lant .pecies> ,3413, p.E96amis Ac0ae, ;T e 8orld in 3434= 2ower, 9"lt"re and 2rosperity> ,199F, pp.13E7FAatt ew 8all, <<9 News, :4t &"ly 341:

To p"rloin t e title of t e book by 2eter Aen)el and +ait ''$l"isio ,344F-.

$not er key frontier of o"r knowled!e and practical application is, t erefore, water desalination. T ere are at t e time of writin! somet in! in t e order of 1G,444 desalination plants worldwide. T e sit"ation co"ld, owever, be drastically altered t ro"! an invention s"c as t e electroc emically mediated seawater desalination c ip developed by Dkeanos Tec nolo!ies. $t t e moment it only ac ieves 3FL desalination rat er t an t e re#"ired 99L b"t may be a arbin!er of a profo"nd advance in t e f"t"re. 3F9 $ st"dy by t e AIT &oint 2ro!ram on 1lobal 9 an!e came to t e concl"sion in 341E t at by 34F4

Aartin points o"t t at we are "sin! abo"t 1G4 billion tons more water eac year t an is bein! replenis ed by rain-. 6ere t e #"estion is also one of stability in terms of political and social arran!ements, for t ere is a correlation between scarcity and rises in food prices ,c arted, for instance, in t e 9ereal 2rice Inde% p"blis ed by t e *nited Nations +ood and $!ric"lt"re Dr!ani)ation, wit its spike to 3G4 points in &"ly 3413- and political revolt and dis armony. 1enocidal conflicts s"c as t ose in 0wanda and <"r"ndi in 199E were correlated to dro"! t. 6ere t e remarkable increase in yields created by t e 1reen 0evol"tion itself provides an inspirational e%ample – between 19F4 and 19?E it elped to lead to an increase in world !rain prod"ction of 3F4L, t o"! wit certain marked costs s"c as land de!radation 3G4, a dependence on pesticides and biocides or t e omo!enisation of crops as a res"lt of t e abandonment of seed savin! and t e "ptake of ybrid seeds3G1. T is was also ac ieved in lar!e part t ro"! t e inp"t of fossil f"el ener!y ,increasin! t e ener!y flow to a!ric"lt"re by an avera!e of F4 times its traditional ener!y inp"t-3G3 so once a!ain t e #"estion of o"r s"ccesses and ac ievements t is cent"ry is based and fo"nded "pon t e need to stim"late and accelerate a s"stainable ener!y revol"tion 3G:, driven by emer!in! companies s"c as 1ood Ener!y and Ecotricity as well as by t e micro7actions of billions of individ"als and small or!anisations ,incl"din! t e potential !rowt of decentralised, peer7to7peer ener!y savin!-3GE on t e basis of t e relations ip between micromotives and macrobe avio"r e%plored by T omas .c ellin!. In t e field of food prod"ction, as well as in t e field of animals and "mans, !enetic modification is one of t e most contentio"s debates of o"r time, !iven concerns over t e ealt effects, top7down corporate infl"ence and t e possible dama!e to t e nat"ral balances of o"r ecosystems, as well as t e wider concern over frankensteinism, promet eanism or !olem7ism and t e de!ree to w ic mankind s o"ld 'play 1od'3GF ,!enetic en!ineerin! as of co"rse e%isted
appro%imately F3L of t e world pop"lation will live in water7stressed areas. It takes nat"re F44 years to replace one inc of lost topsoil. 1ordon 9onway ;Dne <illion 6"n!ry= 9an 8e +eed t e 8orldO> ,3413- asserts t at, accordin! to t e Global Assessment of ,uman *nduced Soil 'e.radation 5GLASO'6 , abo"t :44 million ectares, or FL of t e formerly "sable land in developin! co"ntries, as been lost since 1991. $n interestin! development in t is sp ere is . lomi Air's T"mbleweed 'esert w ic is a robot t at "ses t e wind for prop"lsion and is accr"in! data on ow deserts spread. Air p"ts forward t e tantalisin! t o"! t e%periment of a f"t"re nanobot ;t at eats sand and converts it into fertiliser.> 2 ytoremediation is also an interestin! frontier, wit t e "se of plants t at are able to contain or eliminate poll"tants from soils s"c as metals or pesticides. T is is disc"ssed in (enny $"s"bel and &.2.6arpi!nies, ;Nat"re's Dperatin! Instr"ctions= T e Tr"e <iotec nolo!ies> ,344E-. 0ac el $rmstron! in ;5on!eviti)eY Essays on t e .cience, 2 ilosop y and 2olitics of 5on!evity> ,341:- disc"sses oystertect"re, w ere oysters are "sed to filter imp"rities and improve water #"ality, w ic is associated wit (ate Drff w o as plans to to elp revive New York's rivers wit oysters. 2eter 'r"cker, ;2ost79apitalist .ociety> ,199:- ar!"ed t at knowled!e was t e new means of prod"ction, replacin! land, labo"r, capital and entreprene"rs ip. Df co"rse, land as not diminis ed in importance, and wit an ever e%pandin! pop"lation, is more important t an ever. <"t ere a!ain we face t e rec"rrin! #"estion= ow can we "se o"r ,near infinite- e%pansion of knowled!e and ideas, created in near infinite di!ital form, to brin! abo"t a c an!e or renaissance in t e way we impact and steward o"r limited and finite p ysical worldO 3G1 $ co"nter7view is provided by @andana . iva, ;T e @iolence of t e 1reen 0evol"tion> ,19913G3 'ale 2feiffer, ;Eatin! +ossil +"els= Dil, +ood and t e 9omin! 9risis in $!ric"lt"re> ,341: , pp.C714-. 2feiffer ,pp.1G71?- "ses t e concept of "s bein! in overdraft ,rat er similar to t e macrocosmic idea of Eart overs oot- in terms of "sin! "p t e water reso"rces of several different so"rces s"c as t e 9olorado 0iver ,;w ic is red"ced to a trickle by t e time it reac es t e 2acific-, 9 ina's Yellow river, t e 1an!es, t e Nile, t e $ral sea, t e D!allala a#"ifer, and so on 3G: $dam .mit , of co"rse, e%plored t e wealt of nationsH "nderlyin! it as been w at &eremy 5e!!ett wo"ld call t e ener!y of nations. 3GE 2owerin! o"r di!ital era itself of co"rse demands vast amo"nts of ener!y= +acebook's server farm constr"cted in 5"lea in t e $rctic 9ircle in 3411 is one e%ample, bein! powered entirely by renewable ener!y. $ll sorts of innovations and developments may c aracterise t is cent"ry. $s one small e%ample, Iceland's I''271 pro/ect was t e world's first ma!ma7en anced !eot ermal system accordin! to 8ilfred Elders of t e *niversity of 9alifornia. 3GF T ere are no easy answers in t is sp ere. $n interestin! perspective is provided by .tewart <rand, as #"oted in $le% .teffen, ed, ;8orldc an!in!= $ *ser's 1"ide for t e 31st 9ent"ry> ,344? ,p.114-= ;t e best way for do"bters to control a #"estionable new tec nolo!y is to embrace it, lest it remain w olly in t e ands of 3G4

t ro"! o"t "man istory in t e form of selective breedin!, b"t o"r e%traordinary advances in t e field of !enomics offer a different level of potential 3GG-. 'ecidin! w ere t e bo"ndary lines of w at is et ical and practical lie is one of t e most "r!ent tasks of o"r era. T e pace of development is acceleratin! in t is field as wit ot ers, s"c as t e news in &an"ary 341E t at 0ot amstead 0esearc ad en!ineered plant seeds to contain Dme!a7: fatty acids t at are normally fo"nd in oily fis . .imilar pro/ects incl"de t e development of !olden rice w ic is 'biofortified' wit added provitamin $ ,beta7carotene- and )inc to compensate for deficiencies in diets and, possibly, save lar!e n"mbers of lives3GC. 2apayas in 6awaii ave been modified since 1999 wit resistance to t e papaya rin!spot vir"s, allowin! widespread c"ltivation w ic wo"ld not ave occ"rred ot erwise. T e .ainsb"ry 5aboratory at 9olney in Norfolk ave tested bli! t7resistant potatoes t at mi! t potentially ave prevented t e 1reat +amine in Ireland , ad t ey e%isted, and ad !overnmental policies been different t an t ey were-. 8e now also ave t e sit"ation w ere poetry itself is transm"tatin!, wit a pro/ect s"c as t e Ienote%t e%periment w ere 9 ristian <ok as written poetry into t e fibre and str"ct"re of t e !enetic code of bacteria. 8e may also see paradi!m7s iftin! advances in ot er fields in terms of food prod"ction s"c as a#"ac"lt"re ,w ic as deep roots, wit t e first a#"ac"lt"re te%t in e%istence bein! attrib"ted to a 9 inese politician, +an 5ei, and dated abo"t F44 <93G?, b"t w ic as also been "nder!oin! a process of marked recent transition and development to new levels and layers-. $#"ac"lt"re may in fact crystallise into a '<l"e 0evol"tion' to rival t e 1reen 0evol"tion, wit tilapia becomin! t e 'c icken' of fis farmin!. T ere may be enormo"s advances t ro"! tec ni#"es and p ilosop ies s"c as permac"lt"re, ydroponics, vertical farmin! by or!anisations s"c as 1reen .pirit +arms, or!anic farmin! ,s"c as &oel .alatinNs 2olyface +arm-, f"n!i and mycoforestry 3G9, sc emes s"c as poplar7based a!roforestry in places s"c as nort India, or t ro"! t e kind of simple, nat"ral farmin! espo"sed by teac ers s"c as Aasanob" +"k"oka. T ere may also be an e%ponential !rowt in t e kind of '"rban ac"p"nct"re' ,to "se a term created by &aime 5erner, t e mayor 9"ritiba in <ra)il- t at as ener!ised pro/ects s"c as Incredible Edible Todmorden and its descendents, w ere "rban and derelict areas are appropriated by local comm"nities to !row localised food s"pplies. If people c oose to do so, we may enter an era w ere t e prevalence of food miles is radically red"ced and w ere t ere is a rise of t e 'locavorism' 3C4 favo"red by pro/ects s"c as t e 144 mile diet espo"sed by $lisa .mit and &ames Aac(innon. 8 ilst t e lon!7term tra/ectory as been for people in developed co"ntries to move away from !rowin! even a proportion of t eir own food, a tendency t at as !one alon! wit "rbanisation and t e s ift to tertiary and #"aternary sectors of employment, it may be t at widespread food !rowin! becomes an inte!ral part of t e portfolio of /obs t at make "p o"r 31 cent"ry careers. T is mi! t lead to t e manifestation of 0ic ard 6einber!'s vision of 'fifty million farmers' in t e *.$, for e%ample. Aeanw ile, as disc"ssed in 0ic ard Aannin!, ;+ood's +rontier= T e Ne%t 1reen 0evol"tion> ,3444-, a foc"s "pon deep and traditional met ods, s"c as t e $)tec polycroppin! system of milpa ,w ic is still "sed by Ae%ican farmers- may elp to solve problems t at ave arisen o"t of monoc"lt"re in parts of t e *.$. $s &ames Aartin, ;T e Aeanin! of t e 31 stst 9ent"ry> ,344G- ar!"es, t e ydroponic revol"tion is partic"larly promisin! !iven t e remarkably low "se of water t at it involves, wit some farms "sin! a fift to a tent of t e water "sed in
ent "siasts w o t ink t ere is not in! #"estionable abo"t it.> 9arrots, for instance, were ori!inally w ite or p"rple. Dran!e ones are t e prod"ct of a m"tation selected by a '"tc ortic"lt"ralist cent"ries a!o beca"se it was t e colo"r of t e '"tc 0oyal 6o"se of Dran!e7Nassa". 3GC $ccordin! to 6elen (eller International, eac year an estimated GC4,444 c ildren die of vitamin $ deficiency and :F4,444 !o blind as a res"lt of it. 3G? &o n 5"cas and 2a"l .o"t !ate, ;$#"ac"lt"re= +armin! $#"atic $nimals and 2lants> ,344:-. 3G9 2a"l .tamets, ;Ayceli"m 0"nnin!= 6ow A"s rooms 9an 6elp .ave t e 8orld> ,3411-. .tamets sees t e root networks of m"s rooms as bein! anala!o"s to t e arc itect"re of o"r brains and t e internet. It is an intri!"in! idea, and one t at mi! t appeal to people interested in s amanism, to consider t at t e internet mi! t itself be a version of t e intelli!ence of f"n!i filtered t ro"! "man conscio"sness. 3C4 '5ocavore' was t e D%ford word of t e year for 344C. 3GG

conventional farmin!. $!ain ere t ere is t e promise of e%panded yields, wit some ydroponic farms !rowin! tomatoes prod"cin! 1? times t e yield of conventional farms. Event"ally cities may ave vast amo"nts of food bein! !rown "nder!ro"nd in t e manner of t e 5ondon Pero 9arbon +ood pro/ect or t e proposed '2op 'own' pro/ect to !row m"s rooms in t e dis"sed Aail 0ail t"nnel below D%ford .treet. Aasse <loomfield envisa!es a sit"ation w ere a"tomated food factories feed comm"nities of aro"nd 14,444 people t at form t e n"clei of cities 3C1. 9ertainly one can spec"late on t e kind of e%ponential c an!es t at co"ld occ"r if comp"ters of t e power of s"percomp"ters are "sed in food factories and food labs t at are based on closed7loop et ics of recyclin! and minimisation of inp"ts and ne!ative e%ternality o"tp"ts. $ s ift to ve!etarianism and ve!anism, s"!!ested as a f"t"re trend by &ames <"rke, mi! t play a role in c an!in! t e de!ree to w ic we place press"re on t e p ysical reso"rces of t e world t ro"! a!ric"lt"re, and mi! t also lead to a c"rtailment of t e release of met ane into t e atmosp ere3C3. 8e may see a development o"t of somet in! like t e seedball t at acts a food s"pply c"rveball. $n e%ample in t is sp ere is t e .ystem of 0ice Intensification ,.0I- w ic was pioneered by 6enri de 5a"lanie in t e 19?4s in Aada!ascar and as been "sed from India to 5atin $merica and, accordin! to t e 9ornell International Instit"te for +ood, $!ric"lt"re and 'evelopment, as been s own to increase yields by 347144L, red"ce t e amo"nt of seed needed by 94L and "se "p to F4L less water t an more establis ed met ods of c"ltivation 3C:. Indeed, wit in a relatively s ort space of time t ere may be s ifts as dramatic and far7reac in! as t e first c"ltivation of rice in $sia appro%imately C,444 years a!o or of sor! "m, millet or mai)e in $frica and $merica some time later – or of tec ni#"es s"c as refri!eration, w ic was rated as t e most important innovation in "manity's c"linary istory by t e 0oyal .ociety in 3413. 2lant5ab, for e%ample, disc"ss t e way t at improvements in t e #"ality and cost of 5E's ,followin! 6ait)'s 5aw, w ic is rat er similar to Aoore's 5aw- combine in advances in climate control, sensors, vision tec nolo!y and a"tomation to allow for !reater yields3CE. In 9olin T"d!e's calc"lations, t e 4.33 ectares of arable land per person are s"fficient to provide eno"! s"stenance= ;if t e world's arable fields yielded like t ose of East $n!lia, t e 4.33 ectares t at now serves one person co"ld s"pport at least five.> T e area "nder c"ltivation co"ld, accordin! to some estimates, be more t an do"bled to : billion ectares or more ,t o"! nat"rally t e best land is already bein! c"ltivated-. 1iven t e acceleratin! conver!ence of devices and tec nical applications ,t e $!e of 9onte%t, in t e words of 0obert .coble and . el Israel-, we may see interestin! f"sions of t e virt"al and t e real in terms of food and water s"pplies. In t is sense, we may see a f"sion of t e "rbanisin! instinct wit t e a!rarian imp"lse t at as tended to be seen as t e opposite of it – a f"sion dreamt of by +rank 5loyd 8ri! t. It mi! t t"rn o"t one day, for e%ample, t at playin! a !ame like +armville act"ally as direct ramifications in terms of r"nnin! an a!ric"lt"ral space, /"st as playin! a !ame like .im 9ityE'* or 9ivili)ation mi! t ave effects in terms of smart cities 3CF and "rban plannin!. It may also be possible t at at some sta!e a certain proportion of people !et t eir no"ris ment and s"stenance in pill form only w ic may or may not release land from t e b"rden of providin! for ever advancin! n"mbers of "man bein!s – t o"! a!ain ere we may be stretc in! t e de!ree to w ic we want to rely on t e artificial and t e tec nolo!ical instead of t e traditionally nat"ral ,if t ere is a clear dic otomy between t e two – after all, as (evin (elly as
3C1 3C3 Aasse <loomfield, ;T e +ood +actory>, ttp=JJwww.massebloomfield.comJpapersJt e7food7factory Df co"rse t ere is press"re to move into t e ot er direction, b"t movements stressin! ve!etarianism or ve!anism mi! t prove to be s"ccessf"l in t e lon!7term if widespread conscio"sness of t e deeper iss"es is disseminated. $n e%ample ere is $le% 0enton, ;2lanet 9arnivore> ,341:- w o points o"t t at G4L of t e world's a!ric"lt"ral land is "sed for beef prod"ction. 3C: 5orna 6owart , The ), 1Ct &an"ary 341E. 3CE T ere may be interestin! ramifications from e%perimental work into plants as sensors, s"c as t at cond"cted by 2leased , ttp=JJpleased7fpC.ed"3CF D"r cities will no do"bt !et a !reat deal smarter wit innovations s"c as @ia Inteli!ente's i2avement, w ic is 8i7+i pavin! stones t at !ive free internet access to passers7by. +ans of t e band 2avement co"ld t en "se an i2avement to access son!s by 2avement.

ar!"ed3CG, t ere is a vast m"ltiplicity of e%amples w ereby o"r tec nolo!ical systems ave evolved in anala!o"s ways to t e rise and evol"tion of species and ecosystems-. It mi! t even be possible one day for "manity to become a"totrop ic ,or self7feedin!- in t e same way t at cyanobacteria are, w ic is one of t e ma/or reasons for t eir lon!evity and evol"tionary s"ccess over t e co"rse of billions of years. 'rastic sit"ations sometimes call for drastic meas"res, t o"! t e wider and more informed t e debate on t eir efficacy and et ics t e better – partic"larly if s"c meas"res co"ld make sit"ations worse rat er t an ameliorate t em. $t bot a moral and pra!matic level t ere is nat"rally a profo"nd debate abo"t pro!rammes of de7e%tinction 3CC b"t, !iven t e scale of t e problem of depletion of t e nat"ral world over t e co"rse of cent"ries ,and millennia- it is a possible sol"tion to t e problem and is a!ain at t e very forefront of o"r knowled!e. T ere may be severe limitations on w at is possible3C? – t e idea of brin!in! back mammot s, for e%ample, as part of a 2leistocene 2ark ,w ic mi! t be twinned wit t e A"se"m of &"rassic Tec olo!y in 9"lver 9ity-, may be diffic"lt in terms of t e ability to attain anyt in! approac in! valid 'N$ for t e animal 3C9. $n e%ample t at may prove to work more fr"tif"lly is t e 5a)ar"s 2ro/ect in $"stralia w ic "ses !enome tec nolo!y from t e *niversity of Newcastle ,involvin! t e somatic cell transplantation of 'N$ t at ad been fro)en from fro! tiss"e for E4 years- to try to recreate t e native !astric
3CG 3CC +or e%ample in (evin (elly, ;D"t of 9ontrol= T e 0ise of Neo7<iolo!ical 9ivili)ation> ,199E-. T e c ief moral #"estion, of co"rse, is t at of w et er or not "mans s o"ld 'play 1od'. .imilar iss"es are raised by t e possibility of t e 'domestication of biotec nolo!y' in +reeman 'yson, ;$ Aany79olored 1lass= 0eflections on t e 2lace of 5ife in t e *niverse> ,3414- w ic mi! t mirror t e domestication of, say, t e "se of di!ital cameras in astronomy w ic ave been instr"mental in e%ponential advances in o"r "nderstandin! and knowled!e. 'yson foresees t e possibility of a sit"ation w ere ;domesticated biotec nolo!y...will !ive "s an e%plosion of diversity of new livin! creat" linea!es will proliferate to replace t ose t at monoc"lt"re farmin! and deforestation ave destroyed. 'esi!nin! !enomes will be a personal t in!, a new art form as creative as paintin! or sc"lpt"re>. Dne wonders t erefore if everyt in! from 'aisyworld to .im Eart to t e tama!oc i to t e mos i monster is an early part of s"c a wave of biotec nolo!y or w et er we will r"n into limitations, bot practical and et ical, t at prevent s"c an odyssey. Emily $nt es, ;+rankenstein's 9at> ,341:- disc"sses t e ways t at t is field as already developed since 9rick and 8atson's discovery of t e do"ble eli% str"ct"re of 'N$ in 19F: led indirectly to t e 19C4s insertion of 'N$ from Staphylococcus and t e $frican clawed fro! into )7coli, t e 19?4s creation of trans!enic mice wit !enes from vir"ses and rabbits, and t e 1994s insertion of /ellyfis fl"orescence !enes into ro"ndworms, rats and rabbits. Today t ere ave already been a lar!e n"mber of c an!es t at ave already appened in a field w ere a disc"ssion of limits and bo"ndaries is very important= strawberries and $rctic c ar ave been crossed, for instance, or, as disc"ssed by $dam 0"t erford, ;9reation= T e Dri!in of 5ifeJT e +"t"re of 5ife> ,341:-, +reckles t e !oat as been !enetically modified by t e *niversity of *ta to prod"ce milk t at as spider silk in it. &ames Aartin stresses t e need for safe!"ards, for instance to t e creation of new pat o!ens t at ave not e%isted in nat"re before and t at t erefore do not ave resistances t at ave developed in ot er species and or!anisms= t e 191? fl" pandemic, for e%ample, killed more people t an t e +irst 8orld 8ar, and we ave to be mindf"l and vi!ilant over t e potential for dan!ero"s innovations and accidents. $!ain, we face similar #"estions as t e idea of en!ineerin! a post "man 'robo sapiens' of t e e%tent and wisdom of o"r modifications of nat"ral processes. 8 ilst selective breedin! of animals s"c as do!s ave involved "man control over evol"tionary processes, t ese occ"rred in imprecise ways over t e million year temporal frameworks of 'arwinian nat"ral selection. Today, we face t e possibility of takin! control of evol"tionary processes in rapidly acceleratin! timeframes and in a way t at is f"ndamentally different from t e rest of istory 7 alt o"! one important caveat ere, as .tewart <rand points o"t in &o n <rockman, ;T is 8ill Aake Yo" .marter> ,3411- – is t at evol"tion and !ene swappin! at a microbial level occ"rs rapidly wit in !enerations, i.e. t ro"! ' ori)ontal !ene transfer', rat er t an over t e co"rse of many !enerations. .till, beyond t e #"estion of timeframes, t ere is t e iss"e of t e fact t at evol"tion as occ"rred in a vast m"ltiplicity of forms on t is planet over fo"r billion years – t e #"estion is, to w at e%tent s o"ld we try to take control of it as a process, or let it appen in its own wayO 3C? $t t e time of writin!, t e most s"ccessf"l attempt in t is sp ere was t e 344: effort to brin! a 2yrenean ibe% back to e%istenceH t e kid prod"ced died after seven min"tes. 1eor!e 9 "rc , ;0e!enesis> ,3413, p.1F4- ar!"es t at alt o"! seven min"tes mi! t not seem a very lon! time, t e first fli! t of t e 8ri! t brot ers in 194: was twelve seconds, and by 19G9 we were on t e moon. 3C9 T e attempt to brin! t e mammot back to life may or may not be possible b"t !oes in tandem wit t e wider idea of rewildin! t e 2leistocene ecosystem, for e%ample in 2a"l Aartin, ;Twili! t of t e Aammot s= Ice $!e E%tinctions and t e 0ewildin! of $merica> ,344F-.

broodin! fro! w ic as been e%tinct since 19?:, and is seen as a forer"nner for ot er pro/ects involvin! ot er e%tinct animals s"c as t e Tasmanian ti!er or t ylacine ,w ic , accordin! to t e 9entre for +ortean Poolo!y, may not be e%tinct after all-. $not er e%ample in t is field is t e +ro)en Poo at .an 'ie!o Poo3?4, a 'biobank' t at contains fro)en tiss"e from more t an 1444 species, and may be able to preserve t e nort ern w ite r inoceros, of w ic t ere are c"rrently only fo"r left t at are able to reprod"ce, all in captivity and all related to eac ot er. $not er pro/ect in a similar vein is t e +ro)en $rk at t e *niversity of Nottin! am, w ose inception was in 199G. T e concept of a 'biobank' is interestin! as a p ysical entity since one readin! t e internet co"ld, as a totality, be seen as a kind of memebank, to "se 0ic ard 'awkins's 19CG concept ,or a ome for ideavir"ses, to "se .et 1odin's-, w ic can be "sed to foc"s and accelerate practical pro/ects in t e real and non7 virt"al world in a similar way to t e "se of seeds s"c as 'N$ code to preserve species. 6ere we face per aps o"r !reatest yper7ab"ndance of all= t at of t e n"mber of ideas t at we are !eneratin! and e%c an!in!. $n optimistic view wo"ld ope t at t e process of w at Aatt 0idley calls 'idea se%' – t e commin!lin! and cross7fertilisation of ideas – also leads to a kind of nat"ral selection w ere pro!ressive ideas o"twei! retro!rade ones. Dne e%ample mi! t be t e notion t at war is t e way to solve problems bein! replaced instead by better and better systems of '/aw /aw' 3?1. $not er wo"ld be t e "tter inanity and st"pidity of ideas based on racial s"periority or inferiority ,and opef"lly t eir lon!7term disappearance from conscio"sness- !iven o"r ever e%pandin! knowled!e and "nderstandin! of o"r deeper past and o"r collective roots from 5*9$ ,t e last "niversal common ancestor-. 8 ile p ysical reso"rces mi! t be finite, ideas are, in practical terms, infinite, partic"larly t ose t at emancipate t e "man mind and so"l rat er t an incarcerate it in false fears and pre/"dices. 'e7e%tinction pro!rammes are similar in a sense to t e concept of rewildin!, in pro/ects s"c as t e 2eace 2arks t at attempt to renew elep ant ro"tes t ro"! o"t $frica, as described for instance by 9aroline +raser, ;0ewildin! t e 8orld= 'ispatc es from t e 9onservation 0evol"tion> ,3414-. $!ain ere we face t e sit"ation of ever !reater ab"ndance of information even on sit"ations of ever !reater scarcity and contraction. $n e%ample is t e 1oo!le forest map t at s ows c an!e in forest cover aro"nd t e world between 3444 and 3413. 0 ett $.<"tler and &eremy 6ance pointed o"t in Aon! on 14 'ecember 341: t at t is pro/ect opens t e way to ever more acc"rate mappin! and a"ditin! of t e scale of deforestation incl"din! !lobal i! 7resol"tion deforestation trackin!. 0emote sensin! and t e "se of systems s"c as t e N$.$ 5andsat pro!ramme of satellite ima!eryt of eart ave also been "sed to !a"!e t e e%tent of t e problem ,partic"larly in terms of t e rapid depletion of t e tropical rainforest, wit t e $ma)on containin! somet in! in t e order of E4L of world b"tterfly species, 1F44 or one t ird of t e world's bird species, and an estimated

3?4 3?1


$ndy 0oast, <<9, 34t $"!"st 341:. Dr, at a more practical level, t e contin"al replacement of one system by anot er , opef"lly improved- version of it t ro"! o"t istory – s"c as t e replacement of t e ."merian solid7disk w eel by t e E!yptian spoked w eel t at was li! ter and more efficient. Dr t e replacement of alc emy by its descendent, c emistry ,"nless of co"rse somebody act"ally does mana!e to man"fact"re an element s"c as !old one day in t e f"t"re, and synt esise a post7c emistry discipline t at mi! t be called alc emistry-. In terms of war, per aps if bellicosity remains a flawed part of "manity in f"t"re, and we do one day mana!e to create an interplanetary civilisation, maybe we mi! t find a sol"tion to t e problem of p"!nacity by o"tso"rcin! all t ose w o act"ally want to fi! t pointless conflicts to a distant planet w ere t ey co"ld freely fi! t eac ot er, separate from everybody else w o wants to live in peace, and constantly monitored by all t e ot er civilisations on ot er planets so t at t eir conflicts co"ld not spill over anyw ere else. 5imited to one planet, war mi! t t en potentially be eradicated from "man istory alto!et er, rat er like polio mi! t be. 'isc"ssed in 6arini Na!renda and &ane .o"t wort , ;0eforestin! 5andscapes= 5inkin! 2attern and 2rocess> ,3449-

11,344 tree species3?3- or, alternatively, areas w ere t e problem is bein! reversed and improved 3?:. T e <ritis $ntarctic ."rvey ave "sed t e 'i!ital1lobe 8orld@iew73 platform to assess w ales from space. $!ain ere t e #"estion is not merely t e a!!re!ation of data and information, b"t ow we c oose to respond to it. T e scale of deforestation co"ld lead to !reat pessimism or, alternatively, !reat and noble resolve to s"pport pro/ects for reforestation ,s"c as t e $rmenia Tree 2ro/ect, w ic as planted more t an E,444,444 trees between 199E and 341E, or t e sc eme by Nat"re 9onservancy to plant a billion trees in t e endan!ered $tlantic +orest of <ra)il by 341F-.. T ere are also new developments in terms of t e creation of more efficient forms of reforestation, an e%ample bein! t e process of plantin! 'tree islands' pioneered by 0akan Pa awi and (aren 6oll. .econdary forestation mi! t not ave t e same species ric nat"re as o"r oldest and more establis ed forests, b"t can elp to redress t e overall balance in t e lon! term and miti!ate t e effects of o"r Easter Island7style istorical !lobal deforestation. T ere is, t erefore, m"c to be concerned abo"t ,and indeed saddened, if one as a biop iliac empat y for t e nat"ral world- !iven t e state, and on!oin! nat"re, of depletion. 6owever, t ere are also several instances of s"ccess, ope and positivity, and t e ma/or #"estion is, a!ain, ow we mars all t e intelli!ence and ener!y of w at $l 1ore, ;T e +"t"re= .i% 'rivers of 1lobal 9 an!e> ,341:- refers to as t e '1lobal Aind'3?E or t e '!lobal brain' described by 2eter 0"ssell in 19?3. $n e%ample is t e first on t e list of top ten s"ccesses since t e 0io 'eclaration of 1993 t at was prod"ced by t e International Instit"te for ."stainable 'evelopment in 3443 – t e recovery of t e o)one layer in o"r atmosp ere, protectin! "s from *@7< radiation, as a res"lt of international co7operation ,via t e 19?C Aontreal 2rotocol- to !et rid of o)one7depletin! c emicals s"c as c lorofl"orocarbons and alons3?F. T e re!eneration of t e o)one layer is by no means complete, and it may take appro%imately a cent"ry before it reac es its former concentration 3?G, b"t it does stand as an e%emplar for ot er pro/ects at re!eneration or preservation t at re#"ire wide international collaboration and co7operation. T e environmental sp ere is per aps t e most clear and obvio"s e%ample of t e wider #"estion of ow ab"ndance and scarcity operate today, and in partic"lar t e #"estion of ow we "se yper7ab"ndance of information to ne!otiate problems of scarcity3?C. $ similar dynamic occ"rs in t e area of t e depletion of p ysical reso"rces 3??, w ic I also to"c ed on in my previo"s work. In
3?3 T e $ma)on also prod"ces abo"t 34L of t e world's o%y!en s"pply, as noted in 9arina 6oorn and +rank 8esselin! , ;$ma)onia, 5andscape and .pecies Evol"tion= $ 5ook into t e 2ast> ,3411-. In a similar vein, .teven &o nson, ;8 ere 1ood Ideas 9ome +rom> , - makes t e observation t at, w ilst only makin! "p one7tent of one per cent of t e eart Ns s"rface, coral reef is ome to somet in! in t e order of a #"arter of all marine species. D"r efforts at conservation clearly ave to be foc"sed on certain otspots of v"lnerability and fec"ndity, and a!ain data a!!re!ation can take "s to new levels ere. 3?: In a similar vein, we ave seen t e rise of t e presentation of vast amo"nts of data in pro/ects s"c as t e 1lobal +res water <iodiversity $tlas as part of t e E*7f"nded <io+res pro/ect. 3?E Dr w at <londea" and $llard describe as t e 'noosp ere', an idea adapted from t at of 2ierre Teil ard de 9 ardin. 3?F &o n .picer, ;<iodiversity> ,3449, p.1F:3?G .i!"rd"r 1reipsson, ;0estoration Ecolo!y> ,3411, p.1?3?C Elon A"sk describes t e internet as bein! akin to t e development of a kind of 'nervo"s system' for "manity ,a similar metap or to 6.1.8ell's notion of t e creation of a 'world brain' w ic is ec oed in t e t inkin! of T omas 8. Aalone today-. It can t erefore provide information on w at is ab"ndant, w at is scarce, and ow we can spread and s are t e former and ow we can ameliorate and improve t e latter. (evin (elly, ;8 at Tec nolo!y 8ants> ,3414- sees o"r information web ,or tec ni"m- as akin to a secondary and collective "man brain, wit 1C4 #"adrillion comp"ter c ips ;wired into one me!a7scale comp"tin! platform>, wit t e total n"mber of transistors in t e network ;appro%imately t e same si)e as t e n"mber of ne"rons in yo"r brain> and t e total n"mber of links ;abo"t e#"al to t e n"mber of synapse links in yo"r brain>. T ere are, moreover, more and more fractal patterns of self7or!anisation at work in t e tec ni"m, a!ain mirrorin! or mimickin! nat"ral networks and processes. 3?? T ere are, for instance, appro%imately FF databases aro"nd t e world t at can !ive a company s"bstit"tes for t e materials it is "sin!, allowin! !reater fle%ibility of desi!n and man"fact"re w en certain materials become

t e conte%t of 0ic ard 6einber!'s 'peak everyt in!' t ere are, in t e twili! t se!ment of t e fossil f"el a!e, inescapable ways in w ic we ave reac ed "nprecedented levels of cons"mption and depletion of t e reso"rces t at took millions of years to !enerate and crystallise on t is planet. Dnce a!ain we face t e inescapable ramifications of pervasive e%ponentials= Aalcolm AcIntos , for e%ample, makes t e salient observation t at since t e middle of t e 34 cent"ry t e world as cons"med more reso"rces t an in all of previo"s "man istoryH &eremy 0ifkin asserts f"rt er t at 8estern society, over t e past two "ndred years, as cons"med more ener!y t an all ot er civilisations in istory added to!et er. T at process contin"es to accelerate, so t at it is possible t at t e amo"nt of reso"rces "sed between 19F4 and 3444 mi! t be matc ed in only t e first 34 years of t e 31t st cent"ry3?9. T is as ramifications in all sorts of fields w ere we will ave to en!ineer alternatives and sol"tions t at take "s into f"ndamentally new directions. Dne case is t e #"estion of "rani"m s"pplies wit its effect on t e lon!evity of n"clear ener!y options, partic"larly !iven t e perspective of &an 8illem .torm van 5ee"wen t at, w en t e "rani"m73:F content of an ore is "nder 4.43L, more ener!y is re#"ired to mine and refine t e "rani"m t an can be capt"red by a n"clear reactor. $ccordin! to a 344G st"dy by t e Ener!y 8atc 1ro"p, even "nder t e best7case scenarios, "rani"m prod"ction will peak before 34F4394. $t t e same time as t ese comple% contractions, owever, a!ain we live in a time of "nprecedented access to information on t ose reso"rce levels ,w ic is t e tr"e economic base on w ic all o"r s"perstr"ct"res are constr"cted- and on scarcities – and are in a position, s o"ld we c oose to do so, to "se t at information e%plosion to keep more acc"rate and detailed data on w at reso"rces are still available to "s, ow fast we are "sin! t em "p, and also – if possible – w et er t ere are ot er so"rces of reso"rces s"c as asteroids w ic mi! t c an!e t e ori)ons of w at is possible in terms of overall reso"rce cons"mption. T ere is also, of co"rse, t e #"estion of simplification of o"r lives in terms of t e ob/ects t at we "se and t e reso"rces t at we cons"me – an interestin! st"dy of families in 5os $n!eles between 3441 and 344F was cond"cted by t e *95$ 9entre on t e Everyday 5ives of +amilies and raises #"estions over t e #"estion of ow many possessions we re#"ire, for w at p"rposes, and w et er t ey enric o"r lives or brin! !reater press"res and stresses to t em391. It is not necessarily likely t at "man bein!s will transcend t e atom7based economy of ob/ects b"t it is possible to live a life of almost complete or even monastic simplicity in terms of possessions and yet be yper7ab"ndantly wealt y in terms of one's bit7based online economy of ideas and information. $ t"rn towards simplicity is evident in works s"c as Aark <oyle, ;T e Aoneyless Aanifesto> ,341:-, an embodiment of 5ao Pi's view t at ; e is ric w o as eno"! > and a modification of t e concept of 'vol"ntary simplicity' created by 0ic ard 1re!! in 19:G. In some #"arters t is is referred to as a '#"iet revol"tion', overt"rnin! all t e nostr"ms of t e world of 'conspic"o"s cons"mption' to "se T orstein @eblen's terminolo!y, and one t at may lead to a post7 cons"merist transformation t at mi! t, from t e perspective of 3499 393 or beyond, make t e cons"merist a!e look remarkably wastef"l and, in istorical terms, e%tremely brief. T is does not mean t at ine#"ality is not an iss"e of co"rse, partic"larly !iven t e marked rises in meas"rements s"c as t e 1ini coefficient in co"ntries like t e *( in recent decades. $s noted by Erik <ryn/olfsson and $ndrew Ac$fee, ;T e .econd Aac ine $!e= 8ork, 2ro!ress and 2rosperity in a Time of <rilliant Tec nolo!ies> ,341E- t ere is a disparity between t e e%traordinary bo"nty of o"r di!ital tec nolo!y a!e on t e one and and t e spread of material wealt and income on t e ot er and. $!ain t is nat"rally as a !eopolitical aspect, b"t once more we face t e ability to !ain better
p ysically scarce. E%amples of reso"rces are Aaterial 9onneIion and Aaterial E%plorer. 3?9 AcIntos fi!"res #"oted in Aark 6enderson, ;T e 31st 9ent"ry Environmental 0evol"tion> ,3414, p.F:-. 394 'isc"ssed in &eff .ie!el and 9 ris 6elder, ;Investin! in 0enewable Ener!y> ,344?391 T is is partic"larly t e case if we are locked into an economic system t at enco"ra!es "s to b"y lar!e amo"nts of ob/ects on financial credit as well as, implicitly and often not properly costed, ecolo!ical credit. 393 .am"el $le%ander, ;5ookin! <ackward from t e Year 3499= Eco)oic 0eflections on t e +"t"re>, )arth 8urisprudence and )nvironmental 8ustice 8ournal 3411

and better statistics on t e matter, wit reso"rces s"c as t e 8orld Ine#"ality 'atabase on Ed"cation. +or some people, t ere may be an imp"lse towards t e kind of self7enforced simplicity of material wealt and cons"mption t at was t e imp"lse be ind t e monastic movements of t e pre7medieval and medieval periods ,t o"! , parado%ically, many of t ose movements in practice moved away from t eir ascetic roots and became wealt y and commercialist-. In parallel wit t e pervasive problem of t e e%tinction of species or t e depletion of p ysical reso"rces t ere is t e #"estion of t e e%tinction of lan!"a!es ,and by implication of t e c"lt"res t at are interrelated to t em-. $s noted in AIT Tec nolo!y 0eview on 1G &"ne 3414, t ere are in t e order of G444 to C444 lan!"a!es spoken in total, b"t two t irds of t em are endan!ered, and "nder t e kind of press"re to s"rvive t at 6.1.8ells foresaw in ;$nticipations> ,1941- t . Dver alf t e world's pop"lation speak En!lis , 0"ssian, Aandarin, 6indi and .panis w ile t ose lan!"a!es and t e ne%t "ndred most pop"lar acco"nt for 9FL of all speakers. $!ain, owever, in t is sp ere t e information revol"tion provides "s wit t e tools and e#"ipment to arc ive and preserve t ose lan!"a!es t at are "nder t reat, and in doin! so conserve t e pl"rality and ric ness of "man c"lt"re rat er t an allowin! t e world to descend into an effectively limited monoc"lt"re. $ key e%ample ere is t e collaboration between 1oo!le and several lan!"a!e preservation or!anisations w ic created t e Endan!ered 5an!"a!es 2ro/ect. $ similar enterprise is t e 0osetta 2ro/ect c"rated by t e 5on! Now +o"ndation ,wit a disk on t e E"ropean .pace $!ency's 0osetta probe-, w ilst t ere are several ot er pro/ects s"c as Dmni!lot, t e 8orld Dral 5iterat"re 2ro/ect ,r"n in collaboration between t e "niversities of 9ambrid!e and Yale-, t e 'i!ital 6imalaya 2ro/ect, t e Endan!ered 5an!"a!es $rc ive at .D$., 'ok"mentation bedro ter .prac en ,'D<E.- or Tim <rookes's Endan!ered $lp abets 2ro/ect w ic consists of an e% ibition of over 34 carvin!s of endan!ered scripts on boards of @ermont maple. &essica 6ar/o as been workin! on t e creation of a *nicode alp abet system to elp preserve t e endan!ered nort $merican Indian lan!"a!e of Dsa!e. T is as an ec o of t e description by 9 ris $nderson of a ;massively parallel c"lt"re> t at is formed into ;millions of microc"lt"res> or ;tribal eddies>39:. T e same principle ar!"ably applies to t e preservation of vocab"lary in more establis ed or indeed e!emonic lan!"a!es. In a world of rapid information e%c an!e t ere is of co"rse space for t e e%istence of a simplified lin!"istic system s"c as &ean7 2a"l Nerriere's 1lobis . $t t e same time, owever, t e internet a!e provides "s wit t e ability to collate lan!"a!es in a way t at wo"ld ave asto"nded even 'r.&o nson and, in t e case of En!lis , to preserve t e vast and e%traordinary preponderance of words and synonyms t at is its distinctive allmark, wit t e 1lobal 5an!"a!e Aonitor estimatin! a total of 1,41:,91: in &an"ary 341339E. 6ere a!ain we face anot er frontier of yper7ab"ndance – t e arena of neolo!isms t at are bein! created as a res"lt of t e di!ital era itself. Tom 9 atfield, ;Netymolo!y= +rom $pps to
t *NE.9D estimate t at alf of t e total n"mber of world lan!"a!es today will be e%tinct by t e end of t is cent"ry. $!ain, we face t e #"estion of w at narratives we create, w at o"r priorities are, and w at actions we take to address s"c a problem. 39: 9 ris $nderson, ;T e 5on! Tail> ,344G, p.1?339E $lt o"! controversial, t e 15A calc"l"s s owed t e milliont word t res old bein! passed on 14t &"ne 3449, wit abo"t 1F new words bein! created every day. $t t is rate, Zeveryword mi! t ave #"ite a /ob on t eir ands, since t ey plan to tweet every word in t e En!lis lan!"a!e ,as of 1Ct &an"ary 341E t ey ad made 143,444 tweets-. I can't personally elp b"t t ink t at t is amo"nt "nderrates t e total lin!"istic sprawl of t e En!lis lan!"a!e, partic"larly w en t e ever acceleratin! worlds of slan! are factored in, wit compendia bein! compiled s"c as t e pro/ect by t e $nti7<"llyin! $lliance and software company Impero to create an on!oin! pro!ram t at scans online activity in sc ools for words or acronyms deemed offensive in order to elp teac ers keep abreast of t e merc"rial flows of t e lan!"a!e. $ccordin! to $le%ander 2etersen, &oel Tenenba"m et al, ;.tatistical 5aws 1overnin! +l"ct"ations in 8ord *se +rom 8ord <irt to 8ord 'eat >, !ature ,3413-, "sed 1oo!le N!ram data to s ow t at in En!lis t e birt rate of new words is act"ally slowin! ,b"t is still abo"t ?F44 words per year-, b"t t e deat rate is increasin!. T ey also identify a 'tippin! point' in t e life cycle of new words, wit a moment ro"! ly :4 to F4 years after t eir birt w ere t ey eit er move into t e lon!7term le%icon or disappear. T ey also ar!"e t at words t at are born today tend to become more pop"lar t an new words "sed to !et, per aps beca"se t ey describe !en"inely new p enomena s"c as 'i2od' or 'Twitter'.

Pombies> ,341:- e%plores t e efflorescence of new terms and new words 39F. $not er lin!"istic facet of o"r era is t e rise of online translation in t e a!e of 5e%icool, a site w ic a!!re!ates to!et er links to over CF44 online dictionaries and !lossaries between different world lan!"a!es. $lt o"! t ey are a lon! way from t e advanced skills and n"ances of professional translators, tools s"c as <abel +is or 1oo!le Translate 39G ave elped to foster and accelerate international connections and comm"nication39C. T ey ave certainly advanced far beyond t e pessimistic 19GF assessment by a committee of t e *. National $cademy of .ciences t at ;t ere is no immediate or predictable prospect of "sef"l mac ine translation.>39? $!!re!ations of free ebooks399 across a vast n"mber of different lan!"a!es and sc emes s"c as t e 2oly!lot 2ro/ect elp to create t e potential for a !olden a!e of translation and interconnection of te%ts and ideas across lan!"a!es, w ic may also potentially ave t e effect of b"ildin! brid!es between c"lt"res and so per aps, ideally, limitin! international conflicts and disp"tes ,a lar!e n"mber of w ic , t ro"! o"t istory, ave occ"rred in part t ro"! mis"nderstandin!s of different lin!"istic systems and c"lt"ral mores-. $lt o"! online translation services ave often been derided, wit many e%amples of abs"rd translations bein! s ared ro"nd for entertainment and am"sement val"e, it is conceivable to ima!ine a sit"ation in t e near f"t"re w ere t e b"lk of translations are performed by ever more acc"rate comp"ter processes. $!ain ere we face t e #"estion of red"ndancy= t e role of translator mi! t t en not be red"ndant b"t, if we are intelli!ent abo"t it, be transm"ted into a i! er order of craftsmans ip and inspirational ret inkin! and reconcept"alisation of te%ts wit comp"ters avin! done t e b"lk of t e "nderlyin! work. $n efflorescence of free lin!"istic reso"rces s"c as '"olin!o, invented by 5"is von $ n ,w o also created t e re9$2T96$ system :44 t at ma%imises t e effectiveness of crowds by "sin! a!!re!ations of small m"ndane tasks to f"lfill t e !oal of di!itisin! books-, accelerate t e potential e%c an!es between speakers of different world lan!"a!es. 6yper7poly!lotism may become ever more prevalent, s"c as t e case of Tim 'oner, w o as been learnin! lan!"a!es since e was 1: and, as of 341:, speaks somet in! in t e order of twenty. 0e!ions s"c as .aarland in 1ermany may become officially bilin!"al:41 or m"ltilin!"al as a res"lt of policies t at stress t e capacity to comm"nicate in more t an one lan!"a!e, per aps alterin! t e nat"re of t e nation7state itself. Indeed, s o"ld we c oose to make it so, we may reac a point w ere a person w o only comm"nicates in one lan!"a!e becomes somet in! of a rarity or an eccentric. +"rt ermore, we may see t e intermes in! of lin!"istic systems. Dne primary e%ample is t e palimpsest nat"re of &apanese, wit different elements laid like brocade "pon eac ot er – wit t e main writin! system, kan/i, bein! derived from 9 inese b"t co7e%istin! wit a specifically &apanese syllabary , ira!ana- and one for words loaned in from ot er lan!"a!es ,katakana- alon!
39F $!ain ere we are faced wit t e e%istence of yper7ab"ndance. $n interestin! e%ample is t e neolo!ism 'snowclone' w ic was created in tandem by 5an!"a!e 5o!'s 1eoffrey 2"ll"m and $!orap ilia's 1len 8 itman in &an"ary 344E for a ;m"lti7"se, c"stomi)able, instantly reco!ni)able, time7worn, #"oted or mis#"oted p rase or sentence t at can be "sed in an entirely open array of different variants by la)y /o"rnalists and writers.> 9 atfield points o"t t at a 1oo!le searc on 'snowclones' now yields over 144,444 res"lts, incl"din! a 'snowclone' database of five years' wort of dedicated di!ital spottin!. &"st as one co"ld spend one's life immersed in information abo"t 'information overload', so one co"ld immerse one's life in a sin!le neolo!ism of o"r a!e s"c as 'snowclone'. 39G T ere are f"rt er evol"tions in e%istence ere, s"c as &ames Trimble's E"ropean word translator w ic provides a map of words across E"rope for cross7comparisons. 39C Aic ael 9ronin, ;Translation in t e 'i!ital $!e> ,3413, p.:- even ar!"es t at ;t e present a!e, w ic is often referred to as t e information a!e wit its corollary, t e knowled!e society, s o"ld more properly be termed t e translation a!e>. Ilan .tavans of 0estless <ooks mi! t disa!ree ere, since e points o"t t at in in t e early 3414s only :L of books p"blis ed in t e *.$ are translations, b"t is m"ltilin!"al book p"blis in! plans mi! t make a difference in w at e sees as a certain lin!"istic ins"larity in t at partic"lar co"ntry. 39? 'isc"ssed in 1a"tam . roff, ;T e Intelli!ent 8eb= .earc , smart al!orit ms and bi! data> ,341E-. 399 .ee, for instance,"JmorefreebooksJfreem"ltilin!"albooks. tm :44 T e "se of crowd intelli!ence in t is e%ample is similar to t e "se of crowd intelli!ence in systems s"c as .pamnet or 0a)or t at "se crowd votes to determine w et er a messa!e is spam or not. :41 ;1erman re!ion of .aarland moves towards bilin!"alism>, <<9 News, 31st &an"ary 341E

wit a pervasive amo"nt of En!lis ,roma/i-. $n interestin! bet wo"ld be ow many forms of writin! &apanese as by, say, 3144 or 3F44 or :444. .ome lan!"a!es mi! t c oose to adapt to an intermin!lin! ca"sed by !reater interconnection across t e world by en!ineerin! a similar babelian prof"sion of codes, scripts and r"nes t at reflect inflows from ot er lin!"istic systems. Dt ers mi! t stick to one partic"lar alp abet or syllabary instead. T ere is likely to be a f"rt er process of transm"tation in t e rise of forms s"c as 6in!lis ,w ic is not a lan!"a!e created for t e tennis player Aartina 6in!is, b"t instead a macaronic lan!"a!e formed of f"sed intermi%t"res of En!lis , 6indi, 2"n/abi and ot er lan!"a!es in India-. $!ain, ere, t e #"estion of lan!"a!e is connected to t e mat ematical revol"tion, since 1oo!le Translate en!ineers ave e%plored t e problem of translation t ro"! t e field of vector space:43 mat ematics. 6ere we also see a potential transition in t e field of literat"re itself, wit a f"sion of's two c"lt"res in t e form of a literary mat ematics o"tlined, for e%ample, by ("rt @onne!"t in is work ;+l"ct"ations <etween 1ood and Evil in .imple Tales> or in t e D"lipo movement. 8e may even see a meltin! down of s"c binary distinctions between art and science, !iven t e maelstrom of te%ts, t at was foreseen by 8alter <en/amin. Aeanw ile we also face t e ab"ndance of lin!"istic systems t at ave been developed artificially, s"c as 0DI5$ ,a lan!"a!e created for t e p"rpose of comm"nicatin! wit robots, w ic as been developed by t e Eind oven *niversity of Tec nolo!y "nder a creative commons license-, (lin!on, Tamarian, .imlis , 6"ttese and Na'vi as well as internationalist or alternative lan!"a!es s"c as Esperanto, 5o/ban and Interlin!"a. 2er aps, a!ain, o"r efforts at translation today between terrestrial lan!"a!es are in a sense a fores adowin! or practice for t e kind of translation t at wo"ld be needed across !reater stretc es of space and time, s"c as between a settlement on Te%as7si)ed 9eres and people livin! in Te%as. 2olyc"lt"re in "man terms is, t erefore, as fec"nd and fertile as polyc"lt"re in a!ric"lt"ral terms:4:. $n interestin! e%ample ere is t e <ritis 5ibrary's Endan!ered $rc ives pro/ect, w ic s ares similar aims as *NE.9D's 'T e Aemory of t e 8orld' 2ro!ramme and seeks to stim"late action to safe!"ard t e world's doc"mentary erita!e. Initiatives at conservation incl"de doc"mentation of t e lon! istorical reso"rces eld in Timb"kt" in Aali or a /oint pro/ect by t e *niversity of @ienna and t e $"strian $cademy of .ciences to identify, catalo!"e and p oto!rap :?,444 dama!ed leaves from <"dd ist man"scripts in t e 6imalayan monastery of Tabo near t e border of India and 9 ina. $n enterprise s"c as *daip"ir=a learnin! city aims to sec"re t e lon!7 term patrimony of crafts and skills in t e city in 0a/ast an in India and ens"re t at t ey are not lost as a res"lt of economic and c"lt"ral !lobalisation and interconnection. $!ain, ere t e ability to a!!re!ate yper7ab"ndant information provides opport"nities for amelioration of sit"ations t at co"ld be improved. $not er e%ample is in t e field of international writers w ose work leads to t em bein! s"ppressed, censored and /ailed. Dr!anisations s"c as En!lis 2EN, I+EI, $rticle 19, 1lobal @oices, 0eporters sans frontieres, t e 9ommittee to 2rotect &o"rnalists and ;Inde% on 9ensors ip> ma!a)ine w o campai!n for freedom of e%pression for worldwide writers can benefit from t e novel ways in w ic information is bein! collated and e% ibited. Dne co"ld ima!ine, for instance, a kind of online airport depart"res board of writers aro"nd t e world wit information on t e form of s"ppression t ey are "nder!oin! and links to actions t at co"ld be taken, for instance mass letter or email writin! campai!ns, to allow t em to attain t eir liberty – and /oin e%amples from t e first part of t e 31 cent"ry s"c as Aic el (ilo in .yria in 3449, 5" 1en!son! in 9 ina in 3411, 6"an! &in#"i in 9 ina in 3411, @ladimir Neklyaev in <elar"s in 341:, $yse <erktay in T"rkey in 341: and Nasrin .oto"de in 341:.

:43 :4:

.ee t e article in t e AIT Tec nolo!y 0eview, 3Ft .eptember 341:. T e two are, of co"rse, interconnected, wit an e%ample bein! t e Native .eedsJ.E$096 pro/ect, insti!ated by elders of t e To ondo D'od am Nation of Native $mericans w ic as bro"! t certain varieties of crops back from t e brink of e%tinction and !rows over 3444 crop species.

T e emer!ence of yper7literacyst as a res"lt of t e prof"sion of easily available te%ts is a process t at is, of co"rse, res apin! t e process of writin! as m"c as t at of readin!. 9omp"terisation as ad, and is avin!, a radical effect "pon literat"re and "pon literary criticism w ilst t e field of di!ital "manities as evolved far beyond early e%periments s"c as 0oberto <"sa's *nde4 Thomisticus( a lemmatised inde% of t e work of T omas $#"inas :4E. $s an e%ample, Aar/orie 2erloff, ;*nori!inal 1eni"s> ,3414- ar!"es t at t e 0omantic idea of t e isolated !eni"s is o"tdated, and t at instead !eni"s now resides in t e ability to master information flows bot in passive terms ,o"r reception of t em- and in active terms ,o"r dissemination of t em- !iven t e yper7interte%t"ality at work today. Indeed, !iven t e yper7ab"ndance of te%ts and information, it may be ar!"ed t at in some senses it is more diffic"lt to even be!in writin! in t e first placeH w ere once a writer s"c as Eric $"erbac co"ld prod"ce a work s"c as ;Aimesis> ,19F:- based on a limited stock of works in is library in Istanb"l, today t at limited stock of works as e%panded in all directions on an e%ponential basis. In is epilo!"e, e writes t at if e ad ad access to more works, e mi! t never ave started writin! at all. $ post71"tenber!ian pen ,or word processormi! t !et movin! a little slower in t e first place t an a 1"tenber!ian one, b"t t at does not mean t at it does not write as m"c , as vol"bly, or as penetratin!ly. 6arold <loom's idea of t e an%iety of infl"ence ,19C:-, t erefore, may also be e%a!!erated today= ow can we be!in writin! a poem w en we ave only di!ested a mere fraction of o"r antecedentsO Dn t e ot er and, owever, a!ain we face t e sit"ation w ere it is important to be optimistic rat er t an pessimistic abo"t t e nat"re of t e post71"tenber!ian !ala%y t at we live in. 8e may mo"rn t e more limited scope and str"ct"res of t e 1"tenber!ian !ala%y t at preceded it, b"t o"r mo"rnin! is an "nnecessary reaction t at is eclipsed by optimistic celebration of t e opport"nities t at are now available. 8e can now !ain inspiration from s"c a vast panoply of so"rces t at t e very nat"re of o"r ima!ination can flo"ris in ways t at are diffic"lt to predict b"t en/oyable to anticipate. Indeed, t is can lead to w at &onat an 5et em mi! t call an 'ecstasy of infl"ence' ,created by w at 0osalind $bramson described as t e 'ecstasy of infotopia- rat er t an an an%iety. T is is certainly t e case in an ever e%pandin! cosmos of treas"re troves of arc ived and di!itised poetry, s"c as t e 2oetry $rc ive, t e 2oetry +o"ndation, 2enn.o"nd, t e $cademy of $merican 2oets, 2oem6"nter, t e 5ondon .o"t bank 2oetry 5ibrary's list of online ma!a)ines, t e Electronic 2oetry 9enter, 0on .illiman's links directory, t e 9 adwyck76ealey arc ive, and so on. Indeed, we now face t e potential of "sin! a tablet to access an artefact s"c as t e c"neiform ."merian tablet ,datin! from at least E,444 years a!o and "neart ed in t e late 1??4s in Nipp"rw ic is t o"! t to be t e earliest e%tant poem in t e world:4F. T e possibilities of t e manifestation of t e idea of t e 1esamtk"nstwerk, or 'total work of art', ave been e%tended in t e era of w at $le%andr .kidan describes as ;poetry in t e a!e of total comm"nication>. It mi! t one day even be prod"ced by robots or mac ines, !iven e%periments s"c as t e trainin! of .wift(ey's mac ine lan!"a!e software, called '+l"ency', to learn t e style of . akespearean sonnets. T e yperte%t"al era as seen t e ori)ons of literat"re e%panded in ways t at were fores adowed by a literary movement s"c as D"lipo. $s an e%ample, as noted by (ennet 1oldsmit , ;*ncreative 8ritin!= Aana!in! 5an!"a!e in t e 'i!ital $!e> , -, t ere are n"mero"s web versions of 0aymond B"enea"Ns 19G1 ,and ;laborio"sly and7constr"cted>- ;6"ndred T o"sand <illion 2oems>, written in con/"nction wit t e mat ematician +rancois le 5ionnais. +or 1oldsmit , t e #"estion is not so m"c one of t e ori!inal prod"ction of ideas and content, b"t
st 9arl 0asc ke, ;'i!ital 0evol"tion and t e 9omin! of t e 2ostmodern *niversity> ar!"es t at t e e%pansion of ori)ons of knowled!e in all directions can be described as ' yper7knowled!e' and is akin to yperspace in t e post7 Newtonian cosmolo!y and ;e%tends t e directions and dimensions of knowled!e per se in ways "nanticipated even a !eneration a!o.> 6e also foresees t e development of t e ' yper"niversity' w ic is markedly different from t e pre7e%istin! ;p ysical "niversity>. :4E $s disc"ssed in Aatt ew &ockers, ;Aacroanalysis= 'i!ital Aet ods and 5iterary 6istory> ,341:-. :4F It bein!s ;<ride!room, dear to my eart, 1oodly is yo"r bea"ty, oneysweet>.

instead t e c allen!e is t at of reframin! ,and, implicitly, filtration, since w at is left o"t is as important as w at is incl"ded-= ;if all lan!"a!e can be transformed into poetry by merely reframin! – an e%citin! possibility – t en s e w o reframes words in t e most c ar!ed and convincin! way will be /"d!ed t e best.> In s"c an environment, t e potential for new kinds of cross7fertilisations t at lead to new forms of te%t"ality is clearly enormo"s. $n e%ample ere is ;9yclonopedia> by 0e)a Ne!arestani w ic is an early incarnation of a !enre t at is described as 't eory7fiction'. T ere are even movements s"c as +larf w ic are based on t e MworstN 1oo!le searc res"lts. It remains to be seen w et er or not t e entire idea of a 'canon' is re7establis ed as a res"lt of access to s"c a wide variety of a"t ors, or w et er or not a 'canon' will instead remain intact b"t will incl"de people w o were not previo"sly /"d!ed to be part of it b"t w o are rediscovered as a res"lt of free access to t eir work. In t e political sp ere, we live in a time w ere dept of analysis of different political parties and !ro"ps and t eir ideolo!ies is advancin! in ways t at are ar!"ably analo!o"s to t e discovery of t e fo"r letter alp abet and do"ble eli% system of 'N$. $ key e%ample ere is t e 2olitical 9ompass website w ic "ses a !rid of two a%es based on t e 5eft and t e 0i! t on t e one and ,datin! back at least as far as seatin! arran!ements in t e parliament after t e +renc 0evol"tion between 1C?9 and 1C99- and, on t e ot er and, between t e a"t oritarian and libertarian imp"lses. T is as transformed t e analysis of political positions and ideas in a way t at is similar to earlier vis"al representations s"c as t e Nolan c art or t e @osem c art. $!ain, ere, we face t e potential for vast improvements in t e nat"re of o"r p"blic disco"rse and policy7makin!, s o"ld we c oose to "se t e e%plosion of so"rces as a repository from w ic to e%tract and cross7fertilise ideas. Dne interestin! perspective on t e #"estion of t e relations ip between t e scarce and t e ab"ndant is provided by 8orldwatc Instit"te, ;.tate of t e 8orld 341:= Is ."stainability .till 2ossibleO> ,341:- w o p"t forward t e view t at ;time is in most ways t e scarcest reso"rce of all>. $ pervasive sense t at c aracterises t e very essence and so"l of t e period in w ic we live is t at of acceleration= as $my &o (im, ;9omm"nity <"ildin! on t e 8eb> ,3444- encaps"lates it= ;Time passes #"ickly on t e Net. .ocial dynamics t at take mont s and years to evolve in t e p ysical world can emer!e in a matter of days and weeks on t e 8eb – especially w en a comm"nity becomes ot.> In a world of e%ponentials t e pace of c an!e is one driven by radical accelerations= as T omas +riedman, ;T e 8orld is +lat> , - points o"t, in 344F ;+acebook didn't e%ist for most people, Twitter was still a so"nd, E1 was a parkin! space, and '.kype' was a typo.> T e e%perience of temporal c an!e is s"mmed "p by 0ic ard +oster, ;+"t"re Ainds> ,3414- w o s"!!ests t at ;to me it feels as if time itself is bein! compressed.> $!ain ere we face one of t e most pervasive aspects of t e c an!es t at are bein! bro"! t by o"r transition to a post71"tenber!ian a!e of comm"nication= t e relations ip between t e past, t e present and t e f"t"re. 2a"l +ord, ;Netfli% and 1oo!le <ooks $re <l"rrin! t e 5ine <etween 2ast and 2resent>, ired ,+ebr"ary 341E- made t e observation t at t e internet era is prod"cin! ever more content from t e past and presentin! it in t e 'eternal present' of internet time. $ doc"ment from t e +irst 8orld 8ar, for e%ample a diary written by a soldier t at as been di!itised as part of t e National $rc ives di!itisation pro!ramme w ic went live in &an"ary 341E, e%ists in t e same present moment as 2a"l +ord's article. T e two can be bro"! t to a screen in t e same moment by anyone on t e planet wit an internet connection and t e prod"ction of a copy does not in any way lose #"ality, "nlike t e process of copyin! in t e analo!"e era. +ormerly, t ey wo"ld ave e%isted in partic"lar moments in space and time based on t eir paper manifestations – t e +ord article bein! reprod"ced a relatively lar!e n"mber of times !iven

t e fr"its of 1"tenber!ian reprod"ction, w ilst t e soldier's diary wo"ld ave only e%isted in one form in one partic"lar location in a m"se"m. +ord sees t is as radically c an!in! t e nat"re of time and istorical time itself= ;."ddenly we find o"rselves livin! in an odd sort of asymptote, as o"r past !ets closer and closer to t e present and t e line separatin! o"r now from o"r then dissolves.> In t e m"sical sp ere, e ar!"es t at fas ionability in m"sic erodes, ;beca"se new son!s sit on t e same s elf as son!s recorded five, 3F, and FF years a!o, all of t em waitin! to be discovered. In t is eternal present, everyt in! can be made contemporary.> T ere are many ot er areas w ere similar patterns of yper7ab"ndance and yper7scarcity are at work, and t ese a!ain provide t e topo!rap y of t e cent"ry and beyond – t e c allen!es t at m"st be faced, and t e frontiers and areas of knowled!e w ere we m"st make new innovations and pro!ressions. 0ic ard 1ilbert and $nt ony 2earl, ;Transport 0evol"tions= Aovin! 2eople and +rei! t 8it o"t Dil> ,341:- depict a world in w ic one of t e most pressin! and important c allen!es is t e process of re7en!ineerin! transport and mobility to a post7oil era w en we come to t e end of t e 'petrole"m interval', w ic is ,or rat er, per aps, was- a very s ort period in "man and !eolo!ical istory as a w ole:4G. $ccordin! to t em, c"rrently aro"nd 9FL of o"r transport systems are fo"nded on oil ,w et er petrol or diesel f"el-. T ere is also t e #"estion, in terms of attention, of w at we don't foc"s on. 6ere t e researc by 'an .imons, ;T e Invisible 1orilla> , - is interestin! and leads to t e p enomenon of ;inattentional blindness>.


1ilbert and 2earl note t at more t an F4L of all t e oil ever cons"med as been "sed since 19?G, and over 9FL since t e end of t e .econd 8orld 8ar. Estimates vary and t e field is nat"rally contentio"s !iven t e key role of oil in t e creation of o"r economy and c"lt"re to date, b"t accordin! to researc ers at t e *niversity of *ppsala in .weden t e !lobal oil peak may ave occ"rred in 3413, despite later developments in terms of eavy oil ,c iefly prod"ced from tar sands- and deepwater oil c iefly in t e 1"lf of Ae%ico and t e .o"t $tlantic.